Wednesday, March 12, 2003

UC QB arrested again

Guidugli's dad regrets his son chose Bearcats

By Shannon Russell
The Cincinnati Enquirer

University of Cincinnati sophomore quarterback Gino Guidugli was arrested Sunday for the second time in four months after he allegedly punched an opponent in an intramural basketball game.

UC police arrested Guidugli, 19, at 9:45 p.m. after he allegedly struck UC sophomore Levi Harris' left eye in a 4 p.m. game at Armory Fieldhouse.

Guidugli, a Fort Thomas native and Highlands graduate, was arrested and charged with assault. He was detained at the Hamilton County Justice Center until being released on his own recognizance Monday afternoon.

The arrest was Gino Guidugli's second since November. He was cited and charged with underage drinking at a UC fraternity house, but Judge Ralph E. Winkler dismissed the charge Jan. 14 for lack of evidence.

Guidugli did not return phone calls Tuesday.

Harris' and Guidugli's teams were competing in an all-day intramural basketball tournament when the incident occurred. Harris said his teammate was flagrantly fouled while attempting a layup in the game's final seconds.

When his teammate and Guidugli's became confrontational, Harris stepped between them to avert conflict. Harris said he was punched from the side and the back upon retreating.

"I really didn't see anything or who hit me," Harris said. "But everybody else did."

UC football coach Rick Minter was not available for comment, but associate sports information director Brian McCann said the university is aware of the situation and doesn't want to comment until "all the facts come out."

"We're disappointed when any of our players are involved in incidents, but we're not going to rush to judge anything," McCann said. "We're letting the legal system take over, and we'll go from there."

No university disciplinary action has been taken against Guidugli.

Dave Guidugli says his son carries a 3.75 GPA at UC and never suffered disciplinary problems in high school. But since Gino started at UC, Dave Guidugli said, Gino has been under undue scrutiny because of his role with the football team.

"There were 10 to 12 players involved and everyone was punching, but the only one who got arrested was Gino. If there's a melee, why not arrest everybody? You start to wonder if somebody's got it in for him," Dave Guidugli said.

Dave Guidugli isn't pleased with what he perceives as the university's lack of support. He said Minter recently told Guidugli's wife, Sherry, that their son Gino was hanging around with "the wrong people."

"He hangs out with the football team," Dave Guidugli said. "I'm starting to wonder if maybe he should've gone to one of the other schools that offered scholarships, like Notre Dame or North Carolina or Boston College."

Dave Guidugli also said Minter advised Gino to go "talk to the campus cops" after the altercation, but "they just called in police."

Athletic director Bob Goin wouldn't comment on Dave Guidugli's remarks, saying only, through McCann, "UC is glad to have Gino Guidugli in its football program."

Dave Guidugli said Gino likes the university and has no plans to transfer.

"I just wish they'd appreciate him being here," the father said.

Gino Guidugli led the Bearcat football team to a 7-7 season that concluded at the New Orleans Bowl. In 14 games, the quarterback was 258-for-472 passing for 3,543 yards and 22 touchdowns. He averaged 253.1 passing yards a game.

Dave Guidugli said he doesn't excuse his son from wrongdoing.

"I'm mad at Gino. I'm not condoning what he did. He's the leader of that team, and he needs to prevent a fight or break it up instead of getting into it," Dave Guidugli said. "Instead of being one of the boys, he needs to be the man."


Bill Koch contributed to this report.

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