Randy Smith: Court Storming Needs To Be Banned

  • Wednesday, February 28, 2024
  • Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith
I have no idea why fans feel it necessary to run out on the court at the end of college basketball games. I know that fans....especially students are beside themselves when their team beats a big rival or scores a huge upset over a ranked team. However, the celebration needs to stay in the stands. Duke star Kyle Filipowski was injured this past weekend when fans stormed the court at Wake Forest following a Demon Deacons' upset of the Blue Devils. He was bumped by a fan injuring his knee and the injury was severe enough to list him as questionable for the tenth ranked Blue Devils' game this week against Louisville.

It was at least the second major incident of the season as Iowa star Caitlin Clark was knocked to the floor by a court storming fan back in January.
When she hit the floor, it looked a lot worse than Filipowski's ordeal at Wake Forest. Now, college coaches and administrators all across the nation are calling for the NCAA to ban court storming. Since the NCAA takes forever to legislate changes, each individual conference may need to take the initiative to do it themselves.

My first experience with court storming was as a college student at Middle Tennessee State University. I was on press row when the Blue Raiders upset rival Austin Peay and students and fans alike ran out on the court. An MTSU security guard suffered a heart attack as he tried to keep the students off the floor. Bystanders were able to resuscitate the man but it could have been a lot worse. The closest I ever came to court storming myself was once after a Blue Raider win, I stood on the table on press row.

My wife Shelia knows a bit about court storming. She came out of the seats at the Asheville Civic Center in 1988 when UTC center Lance Fulse hit a couple of free throws to clinch a 71-70 upset win over rival Marshall in the Southern Conference Tournament. She was seen on television hiking her skirt up and crawling over the table to join UTC fans on the floor, while I was broadcasting the game.

If there is legislation passed to ban court storming, we don't need to stop at basketball. It should include all sports especially football when fans run out on the field to tear down the goalposts. That is potentially more dangerous than storming the court in a basketball arena. Of course if you can remember back far enough, you might be able to recall the streaking phase that college students went through...when students would run across the court or field buck-naked. Thankfully, I never did that!

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Randy Smith can be reached at rsmithsports@epbfi.com.
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