CINCINNATI — Suspended Cincinnati forward Yancy Gates apologized to everyone, from his family to his entire hometown, for throwing punches that left much more than just a bloody gash below the eye of a Xavier player.
Then, he wept.
The Bearcats made their four suspended players attend a news conference Monday and apologize for their part in a brawl that ended eighth-ranked Xavier's 76-53 victory Saturday and brought the city a lot of bad national publicity.
No one was shown in the replays more than Gates, a 6-foot-9, 260-pound player who flattened Xavier's Kenny Frease with a blindside punch. Frease got a cut below the left eye and fell to the court, where he was kicked by another player.
"I'm just not that type of person," Gates said, his eyes tearing. "A lot of people have been calling me a thug, a gangster …"
Gates lowered his head and wiped away tears before covering his eyes with his black and red warmup shirt and crying.
The public apologies were the latest step in both schools' attempt to repair their images and rivalry, which has long had an edge but never spilled over into a brawl until Saturday. Four players from each team were suspended.
Gates thought he might get kicked off the team for his flurry of punches that hit at least two Xavier players in the face. He spent Saturday night watching replays of the fight.
"It looks bad, it was bad," he said. "The whole situation was bad. That's the only thing that kept going through my mind, that it might be over, a lot of people won't want me playing."
MEN'S POLL: Syracuse moved two spots up to No. 1 in the AP poll. Indiana moved in at 18th, its first appearance since 2007-08. Also joining were No. 21 Michigan State, No. 24 Murray State and No. 25 Vanderbilt. Memphis, Gonzaga and Harvard dropped out.
WOMEN'S POLL: Baylor remained a unanimous No. 1, and Oklahoma fell from the rankings for the first time in seven seasons. Nebraska entered at No. 25.
SUMLIN TAKES OVER: Kevin Sumlin was introduced as Texas A&M's coach two days after he was hired to replace Mike Sherman. "To have an opportunity to be the head coach at Texas A&M was something very special to me," the former Houston coach said. "Being at one of the great traditional universities in the United States and playing in probably the best league (SEC) in the country is just a great opportunity for me."
KNIGHTS LOSE QB: UCF sophomore starting quarterback Jeff Godfrey is transferring, his father Jeff Godfrey Sr. told the Orlando Sentinel. The school is blocking him from transferring to any Conference USA or Big East schools. Redshirt freshman quarterback Blake Bortles had his playing time increased late in the season, and Godfrey Sr. wasn't happy about receivers coach David Kelly, who had a close bond with Godfrey, being forced to resign.
BRONkO NAGURSKI AWARD: Boston College junior linebacker Luke Kuechly won the award given to the nation's top defensive player.
BCS BID SOUGHT: The Mountain West will ask for an automatic bid to the Bowl Championship Series for the 2012 and '13 seasons. The BCS rules allow a league without automatic qualifying status to request an exemption for two seasons if its teams met certain performance standards from 2008-2011. The MWC met those standards, with Utah earning an automatic BCS bid in 2008 and TCU earning bids in 2009 and '10.
OBITUARY: Joe Restic, who won or tied for five Ivy League championships during 23 years as Harvard's coach, died Thursday at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston. He was 85.
ALABAMA: Right tackle D.J. Fluker, a redshirt sophomore, said he will return next season.
AUBURN: Coach Gene Chizik said he'll turn to junior Onterio McCalebb, freshman Tre Mason and perhaps a surprise or two at tailback for the Dec. 31 Chick-fil-A Bowl after the suspension of All-SEC starter Mike Dyer.
COLORADO ST.: The school called a news conference for today to introduce a coach, reportedly Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain. Steve Fairchild was fired.
MIAMI: Running back Lamar Miller is skipping his final two seasons of college eligibility and entering the NFL draft. Miller ran for 1,272 yards as a redshirt sophomore this season, becoming the first Hurricanes back to top 1,000 yards since 2002.
TEXAS TECH: Coach Tommy Tuberville fired offensive line coach Matt Moore and defensive backs coach Otis Mounds and said defensive line coach Sam McElroy would be reassigned.
TOLEDO: Offensive coordinator Matt Campbell was named coach. Campbell, 32, was named interim coach Friday after Tim Beckman announced he was leaving for Illinois.