National Embarrassment for Land of Jock Jams
Brent: "I don't know of a better student body in the country," as KSU students chant "F--- KU!"
[I was there. It wasn't JUST the students. And shouldn't there be a limit to how many times you can hit "replay" on Sandstorm? Brent's senile, Fran's set on auto-repeat...he's got his talking points and will recite them until your ears bleed. Holly's become a caricature.]
A knucklehead Kansas State fan rushed at Kansas forward Jamari Traylor and body checked him on his way off the floor. Another Wildcats fan taunted several Jayhawks players until a Kansas assistant approached from behind and flung him away. Neither head coach was safe either as Bill Self and Bruce Weber both got pinned against the scorer's table by the crush of on-rushing bodies.
…Credit Traylor and his teammates for keeping their cool and not retaliating only seconds after an emotional loss.
Their restraint prevented an unsafe situation from turning into something uglier.
The NCAA has tolerated court storming because it’s almost always done in good spirit. Students are out there to celebrate with the team, not taunt the opponent.
That didn’t happen last night, and the NCAA will probably have to change the rules because of it. We’ve gone and ruined a beautiful thing.
Fwiw, my tweet earlier about the court storming police was entirely untrue. Security got down to court, sat down, did nothing.
Not taking sides one way or the other, but it did appear that security was actively trying to not do its job.
Kansas State's security parted before the purple sea of fans -- most of them students -- just as they did a year ago when the Wildcats upset Team Wiggins.
It makes for a cute highlight, sure. Until somebody gets hurt.
…For KU, even with Iowa State breathing down its collective necks in the standings, Monday was a business trip.
For the Wildcats, it was their Super Bowl.
Fox Sports Keeler
Kstate fans running up to our players and flipping them off and bumping them to the point they almost fall over? Come on man. Grow up
Having been to at KU @ KSU game, court storming debacle doesn't surprise me in the least. Those fans are IN-SANE.
It's hard to tell if the Wildcats just summoned enough intensity to pull off an upset because seeing that smiling Jayhawk mascot generally gets them seething. It will only take until Saturday to find out, when Iowa State visits Manhattan, Kansas.
Kansas is only ranked No. 8 and it's not as though KSU beat it in some meaningful situation. The Wildcats are a middling team, but one loss on the road isn't going to kick the Jayhawks out of the tourney or anything. Regular-season court-storming is mostly useless, and in this situation it could have injured Self.
First off, this wasn't a great look for Kansas State fans taunting and jumping into Kansas players. That's unacceptable in every regard following a win like this.
But second, and more importantly in my mind, where the heck was the security in this one? The reason that court stormings typically go off without a problem is that the security team helps to get the players off the floor. In this case, not only from what it looked like on TV but also according to the people there, that didn't happen.
…It didn't really look like security did much of anything to slow down the crowd around the Kansas players or its bench. The game had been decided for minutes in advance. The security team should have had time to cover Kansas and get them out of there before this ridiculousness happened. I get that obviously they are trying as hard as anyone not to get trampled too, but at the very least they needed to be vigilant in making an attempt to get the kids off of the floor, which didn't seem to happen.
I've been in favor of court storming for as long as I can remember, but tonight's situation was pretty bad. If we can't get security to do their jobs properly, or if we can't find a way to get kids off of the floor faster, I might be in favor of getting rid of them. There's just too much that can go wrong.
Big 12 should fine Kansas State for its lack of security during the court storming. The No. 1 objective is get opposing team off safely.
Big 12 commish Bob Bowlsby needs to act (Tuesday). This isn't about being the No Fun Police. This has been and always will be about safety first.
FYI: This week's power rankings will run on Thurs, not Wed. Need extra day to work on my court-storming take after K-State's win last night.
You can't say "I love court storms but this was wrong." It's all of a piece. You're either for it or against it. Hope it's a tipping point.
At this point, it may take another tragic situation to open the NCAA's eyes and end court storming. But if the organization had any sense, it would put a stop to it today.
There are other ways to have fun.
No one can claim more firsthand knowledge of the danger of fans storming the court than 27-year-old Arizonan Joe Kay.
"I know it's a one-in-a-million thing that somebody would be seriously injured or die," says Kay.
"Granted, I was small potatoes, a high school player in Tucson, but it seems nothing was learned."
A 6-foot-6 high school valedictorian, Kay was a basketball and volleyball star headed to Stanford, with expectations he'd continue to enjoy what came naturally.
Mastering math calculations.
Playing the saxophone.
Sustaining long conversations.
Using his right hand with dexterity.
Nine years ago, Kay's breakaway dunk climaxed a big rivalry win for Tucson High, the night before his 18th birthday.
In the ensuing euphoria, Feb. 6, 2004, his school's fans stormed the court and the talents Kay had taken for granted were gone in an instant. Kay was thrown to the floor and suffered a torn carotid artery and a stroke, leaving him paralyzed on the right side.
"It seems like over the last five years it happens a lot more often," Kay says now of the oft-televised scenes of fans storming the court, adding, "Nobody remembers me."
The Southeastern Conference has a rule against fans storming the court, which reads, “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.”
A $5,000 fine can be assessed against schools for a first offense and $25,000 and $50,000 for additional incidents.
The Big 12 doesn’t have a policy against storming the court.
Monday marked the second straight week opposing fans have stormed the court after beating Kansas in men’s basketball. It happened after West Virginia won in Morgantown last Monday. Earlier this season, Oklahoma State students filled the floor after the Cowboys defeated the Jayhawks.
Self expressed concern after last week’s game and took a more serious tone on Monday.
“There were several students that hit our players,” Self said. “I’m not saying like with a fist, but when you storm the court you run into and bump everybody. Stuff like that.
“This has got to stop. I think court-storming is fine, but certainly you can get security to the point where players’ safety is not involved like it is here the last several times. That’s disappointing that it happened again. But we also allowed it to happen again.”
The Wildcats beat Kansas in Manhattan for the fourth time since 2008 and on each occasion, fans stormed the court.
Kansas State coach Bruce Weber said he apologized to Self
“I apologized to Bill and their staff and administration,” Weber said. “I felt bad. I love the students and it’s cool to be a part of that, but you also have to be careful of making sure nobody gets hurt.
“I tried to protect Bill (in the scrum) as best I could. Finally, I said ‘To heck with it’ and started pushing people out of the way. You want to enjoy it but also be respectful of your opponent and make sure they get off the court safely.”
Self didn't hold back his displeasure that K-State seemed unprepared to deal with a rushing crowd.
"It’s a ballgame. It’s not about chicken-winging somebody when the game’s over, stuff like that. That’s not what it’s about," Self said. "Hopefully they can get that corrected, because it’s fine if you want to celebrate when you beat us. That’s your business. That’s fine. But at least it shouldn’t put anybody at risk from a safety standpoint, because we’re asking for big problems because somebody’s going to hit a player, and a player’s going to retaliate, and you’re going to have lawsuits and cases.
"It’s just not right. There’s just no place for it to be unsafe. If you do it, at least do it around center court. Don’t do it at the other bench."
[This is how K-State "security" spent their time at the game.]
[And guarding a lone photographer.]
[Of course there's a shirt. Because. K-State.]
“Pay Heed. The game you love began here. Respect those who came before you. Make their legacy your own. Because destiny favors the dedicated. And rings don’t replace work. In this game you don’t get what you want. You get what you earn. We are Kansas. Together we rise. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!