Wednesday, February 06, 2002

No action by league against XU

Richmond saga over; win streak tied for tops

By Neil Schmidt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Xavier Musketeers got two pieces of good news Tuesday: The Atlantic 10 decided not to punish Xavier or Richmond for a postgame incident Saturday, and the Musketeers moved into a tie for the nation's longest winning streak.

        A-10 commissioner Linda Bruno issued a statement that called the scuffle between XU and Richmond “unacceptable” but took no action against the schools.

        “Both institutions have assured me and each other that steps will be taken to ensure that something like this will not happen again,” the statement said. “... I believe these steps are sufficient.”

        The principal change will come at Richmond: Athletic director Jim Miller said he will have teams exit the court differently so they won't walk together through the adjacent hallway. That's where the altercation occurred.

        “We've not had a problem like this before, and sometimes you don't look at issues until a problem happens,” Miller said.

        XU doesn't have that concern, as teams exit its court at different ends. But athletic director Mike Bobinski said he and coaches talked to the players about avoiding confrontation. “There's no place for that in any sporting event; we have made that very clear,” he said.

        The behavior of UR's student section — which berated the Musketeers, leading them to confront the crowd afterward — has come into question. It was the second time in four home games that a player confronted the crowd; Massachusetts' Shannon Crooks tossed a cup of water at students after being heckled Jan.16.

        “We meet with the student groups regularly and are trying our best to make sure the language that is used is acceptable,” Miller said.

        Late Monday, Utah had its 13-game win streak snapped, so XU (17-3) and Tennessee Tech (17-4) share the longest streak at 12 straight.

        XU has held opponents to 36.7 percent shooting during the win streak.

        “Our defense is definitely what's put us in position to win games,” XU coach Thad Matta said. “But to me, (having the longest streak) doesn't mean a whole lot. We can't rest on that.”

        Tennessee Tech plays Thursday at Murray State.

        XU plays Saturday at St.Bonaventure.


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