After the knock-down, drag-out brawl that cleared both UC and Xavier benches Saturday, FOX19 heard from two former college players that now coach kids on the court. The image of college players from both teams throwing punches instead of three-pointers didn't sit well with anyone.
Alex Meacham was a walk-on at UC in the late 90's. Now he coaches kids of all ages, and schools them in both his love of the sport, as well as how to act both off and on the court. He was at the Crosstown Shootout Saturday.
"It was like nothing I've ever seen before… I turned my head, talking to someone and I hear somebody scream. And I look down and see all the guys rushing at each other.. and my immediate thought was.. is this going to stop? It's like, who's gonna stop these guys? These are big guys," said Meacham.
Sunday, Meacham was coaching 7 and 8 year-olds, and said questions about what kids see older players do are inevitable, and says he'll use the fight - and its consequences - as a teachable moment for young people he mentors.
"What the UC team and the Xavier team did was wrong," he said. "Here's how it affected the team. You have to explain that within the big (picture). You affect more people than just yourself, and that's important. So I think they're great teaching moments. You hate to have teach moments like this. But it has to be done. "
Across town, Colerain High School Head Coach Kevin Higgins agrees that this is a perfect time to remind his players that no matter how heated a game gets, it's not worth getting suspended and being remembered for the fight instead of the game.
"The kids involved equally all made bad decisions. It's pretty simple. Both sides are at fault and that's what it is," said Higgins.