First Posted: 5/21/2012 1:25:20 AM | Last Updated: 5/21/2012 10:19:10 AM
Maybe it’s the way of the world – at least in Cincinnati.
While other D-1 college basketball teams are vying for new talent – and announcing their recruiting class on a daily basis – the people at the University of Cincinnati, are, gulp, dismissing players.
It’s a shame—really.
But why is it here—always?
Mick Cronin, the Bearcats’ coach, seems to be in his bunker and ducking the so-called salvos thrown at his program.
He announced just the other day he’s dismissed Octavius Ellis from the team. Seems he was one of his players involved in a reported incident in a downtown Cincinnati nightclub last weekend.
According to Cronin, who now has had practice with this after the December Xavier incident – Ellis will have access to academic support services through the end of the academic quarter. However, he is immediately separated from all team activities, according to Cronin’s prepared statement.
Ah, prepared statement. Basketball coaches at Cincinnati take this statement along with them when they sign on here to coach.
“Octavius didn’t adhere to the standard of conduct I expect from members of our team,” Cronin said in the statement. “I will work to help him find a fresh start at a new program because I do care very much for him as a person. I believe he can benefit from being in a new environment. That’s likely what will help him the best to learn and mature from this.”
The University has learned that no formal charges will be filed.
“I regret the mistakes I made this year and I know I need to mature as a person,” Ellis said. “I want to thank my coaches and teammates for the opportunity I had at UC.”
Imagine, just imagine for a second being thrown out of college. How do you tell your mom and pop that news. Hey, folks, I’m coming home – I was tossed out. They don’t want me.
And moreover, Cronin throws Ellis to the curb like trash, and in the next breath says he’ll help him go to another program.
Who’d want him? Why?
Cronin and the university should have done their homework. Ellis, a freshman from Memphis has a history of temper issues that his grandmother once told The Commercial Appeal . Seems they stem from anger he harbors about the murder of his mother. Ellis was 10 years old and in the house when his stepfather murdered his mother with a gunshot to the face, April 23, 2003.
“He was there,” Ellis’ grandmother, Flossie Ellis, told the paper back in June, 2010. “He said, ‘Look at what you done to my mama!’ He ran behind (his stepfather) and was throwing rocks at him, saying, ‘You done killed my mama!’
“See why he acts up?” she added. “We’ve been through some stuff with that boy. But I am so proud of him. If he can just maintain his temper and keep that under control….Some days can go real good, (others) are like I don’t know what.”
Whit Babcock, the UC athletic director, supported Cronin’s decision and said, “I believe Coach Cronin has our program headed in the right direction. I appreciate his leadership of our young men athletically, academically, and socially."
Elis played in three games during the 2011-12 season, averaging 2.3 points and 1.7 rebounds in 8.3 minutes.
Maybe someday, those kids – ugh men—that play for the University of Cincinnati will realize court time is in the gym – not in front of a judge.