Tuesday, December 13, 2011

An On Court Incident Is Not a Crime


Ray Mancini is a killer. On November 13, 1982 in Las Vegas, the 21 year old Mancini deliberately and viciously pummeled 23 year old South Korean native Duk Koo Kim for nearly 40 minutes. Kim, bruised and battered by the beating he received suffered a severe brain injury and succumbed to his injuries five days later. Ray Mancini was never charged in connection with Kim's death despite the fact that it was witnessed by thousands of people in person and millions on television.

In the above paragraph, everything is absolutely the truth, but it's deliberately spun so that it makes Mancini sound like a criminal, when he was really a boxer whose opponent tragically died in the ring. It's quite easy to distort things and make Mancini seem like a criminal, just like some people who are making Yancy Gates and other Xavier and Cincinnati player seem like criminals. And now that there's even talk of a potential prosecution of the involved players. I understand that the situations are very different in that the brawl in the basketball game involved actual malice, but the Mancini-Kim fight forced boxing itself to be accountable instead of the individuals involved because they realized that the fighters were having to navigate around an occupational hazard, which is exactly what this brawl was due to the way that the Cincinnati media has fanned the flames of this rivalry, and the fact that it was obvious to any viewer that the officials lost control of this one early. After the fight, matches were reduced from 15 to 12 rounds, The configuration of the ropes on a boxing ring was changed to prevent fighters from falling out of the ring, and most importantly, fighters had to go through far more rigorous pre-fight examinations.

What corrective action could college take to prevent more fights like the one at Xavier from happening again? They could do a few things that include reducing the maximum workload of officials, sanctions for officials who are involved in games where brawls happen and a generally more liberal use of the technical foul when things start to get chippy and players start to talk shit with one another. Treating the players as thugs or criminals is not the answer.

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