I remember the days when a #1 ranked college basketball team or #1 ranked college football team would lose at an opponent’s court or field and the customary ‘rushing of the court or field’ would ensue. Notice I said “#1 ranked” team. It seems the tradition of knocking off the nation’s top-ranked team and then rushing the court has now spread. Apparently it’s OK for fans of ‘Team A’ to rush the court after their team defeats ‘Team B’ even though ‘Team B’ wasn’t even ranked in the top 10.
In my opinion, the over-the-top action of rushing the field or court is out of hand and needs to be addressed. Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski discussed it last night following his team’s loss to Virginia in Charlottesvile. While Coach K may have sounded like a poor loser, his comments should be taken seriously and with great sincerity. It is no longer a matter of ‘if’ something horrible is going to happen in one of these situations, it’s now a matter ‘when.’
The Southeastern Conference already has a rule in place banning the ‘rushing of the field or court’ at any of their member schools. Failure to heed the warning can result in fines against the school among other penalties.
- Coach K sounded like a sore loser but his message about court-storming was accurate.
The concern that Krzyzewski has is on point. In a social media world where fans are closer to athletes than ever before, it’s only a matter of time before a fan says or does the wrong thing to an opposing player. Kudos to the SEC for addressing the issue and being proactive on the issue.
Quite frankly, what really is the point of rushing the court or field anyway? You’re a student, they’re the athlete and coach. Your spot is in the seats and their’s is on the court. There is very little good that can come from rushing the court the second the buzzer sounds.
The easy fix here is to meet the SEC rule half-way. Why not allow the opposing team’s bench to exit the court before fans storm the floor? As soon as the game ends, the clock operator could set the time for let’s say, 1:30. As soon as that expires then the fans can rush the floor.
This is more than enough time to get the opposing team off the court and keeps everyone safe and out of harm’s way. What’s the downfall? You don’t get to celebrate on the court immediately after the buzzer sounds? Oh God forbid you have to wait 90 seconds….
The other rule I would strongly enforce is that you cannot storm the court or field unless the opponent is a number one ranked team. Sound silly? Ya, it is, but this is why court-storming happened in the first place and that’s how it should remain. If #23 Oregon gets knocked off at Arizona State is this really a cause for Sun Devils’ fans to storm the court? No, it isn’t.
Perhaps we need to get our priorities right before we can actually address the issue further.
Two Monster Games This Weekend
#5 Miami at #3 Duke – The Blue Devils were caught by Virginia looking ahead whether Coach K admits it or not. I really thought Duke was ready to make a run, but that loss to the Cavs worries me. Take the Canes.
#9 Michigan State at #4 Michigan – This is another revenge game here as Tom Izzo’s Spartans thoroughly embarrassed the Wolverines in East Lansing last month. Much like I have concerns with Duke, I do too with Michigan who lacks toughness. Take the Spartans to win in Ann Arbor.