On Sunday, the Oregon crowd stormed the court to celebrate the Ducks' upset win over Utah. However, it was simple, and the Utes were never in harm's way.
That wasn't the case for the Kansas Jayhawks Monday night in Manhattan, Kansas. Following Kansas State’s 70-63 win over rival Kansas, hundreds upon hundreds of Wildcat fans poured onto the court.
One Kansas State fan body-checked Kansas forward Jamari Traylor as Traylor was making his way off the floor. The taunting of Jayhawks players from a fan caused one Kansas assistant to retaliate and fling him away. And head coaches Bill Self (Kansas) and Bruce Weber (Kansas State) got pinned against the scorer's table by the sea of purple.
According to Topeka Capital-Journal's Jesse Newell, Self addressed the incident following the game, saying, “There were several students that hit our players. Not saying like with fists, but when you storm the court, you run in, you bump everybody, stuff like that. This has got to stop.
"Court storming is fine, but surely you can get security to the point where player safety is not involved like it is over here. The last several times they’ve won, they’ve stormed the court on us. That’s disappointing that that happened again, but we also allowed it to happen again by not playing well.
“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. 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."
The scene Monday brings to memory the ugly incident that occurred after Utah Valley University topped New Mexico State in Orem last season. As Wolverine fans rushed the court, some fans and Aggie players came to blows, that later resulted in a player and a coach being suspended
USA Today’s Nicole Auerbach asks what will need to happen for the court-storming problem to be addressed by the NCAA.
“But something significant must be done to curb this before something worse happens in such a small, confined space,” she writes. “Self said Monday he believes someone will retaliate someday, leading to lawsuits.
“It would be a shame if it has to come to that, something even uglier than the scene we witnessed Monday night. Let that be the tipping point; go no further.”
Nate Scott, a writer for the USA Today blog For The Win added, “Kansas State crossed the line last night, and it’s terrible, because now those uppity fools who lecture you about the sanctity of the game and 'court-storming should only be done when the team deserves it' or whatever, those people now have ammo. I, the guy who has always argued that college kids should run out and celebrate whenever they want, can’t argue with them on this. Last night was dangerous. It was stupid.”
As the crowd came rushing on, there was no security visible to help the players get off the court safely, that’s something that CBS Sports Sam Vecenie called into question.
“Listen, I love a good court-storming — and hate the debate surrounding it — as much as anyone, but this was a really bad instance of it so it's going to happen anyway. 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.”
Kansas State and the Big 12 said they will be looking into the incident, but no matter what they find, the debate has been relit.
— Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said that though it’s not at the top his mind, he doesn’t think “it would be impossible to go back to 154 (games)." Currently, the MLB season has 162 games.
— The 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar looks like it will be held in the winter.
— Injured Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant was not too pleased about his teammates postgame interview celebration.