Campus Corner

SEC has rule against court-storming, but Big 12 does not

K-State students run after the Wildcats’ Nino Williams (middle) who helped ice the game in the Wildcats 70-63 win over KU on Monday night at Bramlage Coliseum.
K-State students run after the Wildcats’ Nino Williams (middle) who helped ice the game in the Wildcats 70-63 win over KU on Monday night at Bramlage Coliseum. The Kansas City Star

Everybody loves a good court storming, except the losing team. The home fans go wild and television has a clip for constant replays.

But things got a bit out of hand Monday night in Manhattan, Kan., after Kansas State put the finishing touches on its upset of eighth-ranked Kansas.

The students stormed the Bramlage Coliseum floor, but it appeared a Kansas player, Jamari Traylor, was intentionally checked by a court-rushing fan, and Jayhawks coach Bill Self appeared to be pushed back by the crowd during the handshake line.

The incidents amplified the concerns of storming the court, a practice that comes with a price in some conferences.

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.”

To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to bkerkhoff@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BlairKerkhoff.

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