First Posted: 5/12/2012 3:35:59 PM | Last Updated: 5/12/2012 3:35:59 PM
By Andy Furman
Basketball is perhaps the furthest thing in the minds of Cincinnati sports fans – but it shouldn’t be.
Northern Kentucky University will put themselves on an even playing field with both the University of Cincinnati and Xavier when they join the D-1 ranks next season.
Nancy Winstell, who has won over 600 games for the Lady Norse, has since resigned.
And the perhaps the best-kept secret – the Skyline Chili will play on in 2012-13 – for the 80th edition.
And why not?
OK, last December 10th it was ugly. It was bloody – and it all could have been avoided with some :09 seconds remaining in a Xavier 20-plus point victory over the Bearcats at Cintas Center.
The talk after that game was to put a hold on the series – or even worse – cancel it.
At the time I said how could a few knucklehead kids throwing punches and shoving one another erase a tremendous winter event in our city.
In fact, if the powers that be who control this event – the school Presidents and Athletic Directors – had thought of even cancelling the event.
Thoughts were to move the game to a neutral site –and then it got real quite on both sides.
Let’s face it; if the series were doomed doesn’t that leave a poor mark on the administrators from both schools? Doesn’t that send a message that they can’t control their athletes and/or fans? In short, at least to me, it shows they’ve thrown their heads up and said, “forget it, we can’t control this event, so we’ll bag it.”
Cooler heads have prevailed this week. The series will continue and that’s the good news. In fact, that’s the only news that should come from both schools.
Now the game is set for Fifth Third Arena next season. And that’s where it should be played. College athletics are for the kids and the atmosphere – and yes, although games are moved to larger venues, basically games should be played on campus.
Wasn’t that the reason Xavier pushed for the Cintas Center and eventually moved out of Cincinnati Gardens?
When the dust settles, the game will be played in Clifton next season, because quite simply the game is bigger than a few punches.
Too bad Kentucky and Indiana couldn’t figure that out – their series has been squashed – and there were no fights involved.
That’s a bigger shame.