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Video shows Mississippi coach plead with police

CINCINNATI | A newly released police video shows Mississippi basketball coach Andy Kennedy pleading with an officer before his arrest on an assault charge.

"I'm begging you ... this is a major deal, man," Kennedy told police.

He added: "This is going to be a national incident, sir."

Kennedy was arrested in downtown Cincinnati on Dec. 18 after a taxi driver said Kennedy hit him and used racial slurs.

On the video broadcast by WLWT-TV in Cincinnati, an officer warned Kennedy to do what police say.

"You turn on me one more time, I'm going to start making some more charges. Do you understand me?" an unidentified police officer told Kennedy.

Kennedy told an officer that he was formerly the University of Cincinnati head coach and was in town to play "Louisville and Rick Pitino" on national television. The officer told Kennedy he didn't want to talk with him.

Kennedy told police on the video that he had a verbal altercation about how many people could ride in the cab, and that it "makes no sense" to arrest him.

In response to his pleas, an officer said: "You think we've never arrested somebody that's made national media? ... We deal with the Bengals all the time."

A couple of years ago, the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals had nine players arrested on various charges in a one-year span.

Kennedy attorney Mike Allen said the video would help his defense.

"It shows that Coach Kennedy was compliant with the officer; he was polite and cooperative," Allen said Monday.

Kennedy said during the SEC basketball teleconference call on Monday that he hadn't seen the tape and was concentrating on Mississippi's upcoming game against Auburn.

"This thing has taken on a life of its own and I've got to focus on a task at hand," Kennedy said.

Kennedy has denied the cab driver's allegations and is scheduled for trial April 20 on a misdemeanor count of assault. That would carry a maximum sentence of six months in jail if he is convicted.

Taxi driver Mohamed Moctar Ould Jiddou told police that Kennedy punched him in the face and called him "(Osama) bin Laden" and other derogatory terms during a dispute over how many passengers were allowed in his taxi.

The charge has triggered civil lawsuits on both sides. Kennedy charges defamation and "loss of consortium" with his wife; Jiddou seeks civil damages from Kennedy for the alleged assault and accuses the coach of filing a frivolous lawsuit.

Kennedy's Rebels basketball team is 12-9 this season after upset victories last week over Kentucky and Mississippi State.


AP Sports Writer Will Graves in Louisville contributed.