December 15, 2011
Instead of holding a grudge against Cincinnati center Yancy Gates for the cheap shot that left him dazed and bloodied last Saturday, Xavier 7-footer Kenny Frease decided the more mature thing to do would be to make amends.
As a result, Frease recently got Gates' number from a mutual friend and texted to say he had no intention of pressing charges against the Cincinnati big man and he wanted to put the entire incident behind them. Frease said Gates thanked him and apologized for the punch that resulted in a six-game suspension.
"People make mistakes in the heat of battle," Frease told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "I've made mistakes in my life in emotional situations. I don't think that's a reason…especially in a basketball game. Obviously there's no room for that in a basketball game. But to pursue somebody criminally for something that happens in something that's that competititve — it seemed immature to me. And I didn't want him to be punished for something for his whole life because of something that he did in a game that is that emotional."
Give Frease credit for his response because many others in his position wouldn't have been so forgiving. The Xavier 7-footer hasn't always shown the most maturity during his college career and even got suspended before the start of this season, but perhaps this is a sign he's growing into a leader for the undefeated Musketeers.
In his interview with the Enquirer, Frease also expressed hope that his reconciliation with Gates would enable both Xavier and Cincinnati to move forward as universities. Based on the comments Xavier athletic director Mike Bobinski made to CBSSports.com Thursday, it sounds like Frease may get his wish.
Asked whether the series with Cincinnati should continue, Bobinski said, "We have a chance to do things right and I don't think the right move is to walk away from this."