Yael T. Abouhalkah

Rowdy K-State court-storming another black eye for big-time college sports

Kansas State police asked Tuesday morning for help identifying this fan, who intentionally ran into KU player Jamari Traylor after Monday night’s game.
Kansas State police asked Tuesday morning for help identifying this fan, who intentionally ran into KU player Jamari Traylor after Monday night’s game.

Everyone is saying most of the right things after Kansas State basketball fans went overboard while storming the court Monday night at Bramlage Coliseum.

Kansas State athletic director John Currie apologized Tuesday morning and said his school’s security forces had not done their job. (Correction: I originally reported President Kirk Schulz apologized.)

K-State coach Bruce Weber said he was displeased with the fans’ overly rowdy reaction.

The K-State police said they were looking for the fan who intentionally ran into KU’s Jamari Traylor on the court shortly after the game.

And University of Kansas coach Bill Self politely said something had to be done to get these celebrations under control.

But let’s stop right here for a moment.

The K-State court-storming is just the latest evidence of how excessive big-time college sports has become in the lives of not just the students but also in the lives of the men and women who oversee the game at universities such as KU and K-State, as well as in the lives of the adults who attend the games.

Schulz and others in Manhattan hold up their highly successful college football team as the university’s greatest public relations investment.

Self makes $5 million a year for being a superior basketball coach, paid that much to bring positive attention to the school in Lawrence.

The court-storming Monday night was very predictable and exactly in line with how so many people have made college sports into something so much bigger than life.

Get the college kids into the fieldhouse, get them riled up about their rivalry game, and then watch emotion take over if the unexpected upset occurs — as it did vs. KU.

Yes, things got out of control and some words will be spoken about how to get a handle on future court-stormings. Fines may be issued, for instance, when they happen.

Unfortunately, the real answer to all of this craziness won’t be talked about: Simply reduce the amount of attention not just the college kids but especially the adults — including pumped up alumni — put on the outcomes of minor sporting contests.

It’s not going to happen, and it’s a reason we’ll see more wackiness in big-time college sports in the future.

To reach editorial page columnist Yael T. Abouhalkah, call 816-234-4887 or send email to abouhalkah@kcstar.com. Twitter @YaelTAbouhalkah.

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