Storming the court is as quintessentially “college basketball” as is March Madness. In many ways, it’s emblematic of the high-energy atmosphere of the NCAA and the purity, and joy, of the game which many college enthusiasts believe the NBA sorely lacks. Now, if after reading this last sentence you find yourself sagely nodding your head in agreement, I have one recommendation for you. Riotously invade any and every hardwood surface you can find. And do it quickly, because the good-old-fashioned court-storm may soon be going out of style.
If you didn’t already hear, Virginia upset #3 ranked Duke on Thursday. It was a pretty big deal. A court storming kind of big deal….at least that’s definitely what the Virginia student section thought. The highly-respected, gold-medal-decorated head-coach of Duke, Mike Krzyzewski was of a slightly different mind.
“Whatever you’re doing, you need to get the team off first,” said Coach K after the game. “Look, celebrate, have fun, obviously you won, that’s cool. Just get our team off the court, and our coaching staff, before the students come on.”
Coach K went on to describe the inherent hazards of the court-storm. And he made a lot of sense. Obviously in any court-storm situation the stormers are having a grand-old-time. But, on the other hand, the team desperately trying to flee the oncoming tidal wave of drunk, face-painted frat-boys probably isn’t reveling in all the court-storming fun. And then there’s always the worst-case scenario: things turn ugly fast and someone gets hurt.
With the number of people reacting in support of Krsysewki, a rule-change may be lurking just around the bend. And, it’s not like a court-storming prohibition would be unprecedented. The SEC currently has a rule that states: “For the safety of participants and spectators alike, at no time before, during or after a contest, shall spectators be permitted to enter the competition area.”
This SEC policy comes with a $5,000 fine that can be assessed to a school on a first offense with up to $50,000 being fined for further offenses. If similar punitive measures are applied to the rest of the NCAA, fans can kiss their court-storming days goodbye as surely as colleges prefer not to hemorrhage green. And, if there’s one thing you can say with all certainty about this issue, colleges do love their money.