A firestorm of controversy has hit the college basketball world over the past few days. Kansas State fans rushed the court after beating Kansas in Manhattan on Monday night. Chaos ensued with Kansas coach Bill Self pinned up against the scorers table and Kansas player Jamari Traylor was the target of a fan's cheap shot.
This video does an excellent job of explaining what happened.
It has led to a national conversation on whether or not court storming should be banned in college basketball. One side says in short that they're college kids and some of the best memories that stem from college involve rushing the court. The other side says that eventually, someone will either die or end up seriously injured after a court storm and everyone will ask why it wasn't stopped sooner.
Among the compromises that have been suggested across sports talk radio include waiting for the other team to clear the court before rushing the floor or waiting a minimum amount of time before storming the court or face some kind of fine or penalty.
I don't believe we're at a point where you can say it needs to go away per se. It's more control, more pre planning to be able to control the crowd and particularly your students to be able to have the opponent safely exit the arena. I don't think it's at the point where you would try to clamp down.
It's a great moment for students and fans who are part of an upset. The past two years here, we beat Arizona, it was really a fun moment in time for anybody that was involved. We certainly have made adjustments to how you get the opposing team out of the gymnasium efficiently and safely.
If you're looking in advance at logistical and operational plans in advance, you can not just mitigate, but eliminate any real threats. I would be one of those that proposes you allow them to continue, but put universities at the responsibility of preplanning that there is safety first and foremost in those situations
As Anderson noted, ASU students have rushed the court twice in the past two years beating Arizona. Having witnessed both and the latter game this year in person, nobody ever seemed to be in danger and ASU fans barely filled up the full court. I witnessed six police officers and roughly 15 security personnel in place, mostly to slow the rush of students onto the court as you can see below in this photo I took (All security are in the black shirts):
It also helps Wells Fargo Arena to have court side seating around the floor with the student section at only one end. At Kansas State, students hopped right over the side barrier and naturally gravitated toward the players on the other side which is why Self got stuck. As Anderson said, ASU is already looking at how to further enhance its security measures going forward.
The SEC is currently the only conference that fines its member institutions for storming the court.
Eds. This piece originally misspelled Jamari Traylor's last name and has been corrected