Thursday night, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski voiced concerns about the lack of protection his players were given during a court storm after that night’s loss to Virginia.
Duke haters are going to say that he is just being a crybaby after the loss, but the fact is he brings up some very good points during his presser.
Below are some of the quotes that SB Nation ran in a recent article:
“Whatever you’re doing, you need to get the team off first. Look, celebrate, have fun, obviously you won, that’s cool. Just get our team off the court, and our coaching staff, before the students come on.
“Do you know how close you are to… Just put yourself in the position of one of our players or coaches, and I’m not saying any fan did this, but the potential is there all the time. But they can just go up to you and say, ‘Coach, you’re a …’ or push you or hit you or whatever. What do you do?
“What if you did something (in retaliation)? That would be the story, right? We deserve that type of protection. “
“They should have fun and burn benches and do all the stuff … I’m all for that. They are a great school, great kids, but get us off the court, and that’s the bottom line.”
After watching the video below, you can see why he was so concerned for his kids.
I was listening to sports talk radio (forgive me that I can’t remember which station) tonight while picking up dinner and the conversation came up regarding Thursday night’s incident. The conversation quickly shifted from “Is storming the court getting old?”, to “What’s to stop some idiot with an agenda from hurting an opposing player/coach?”.
The latter is what I have thought for a long time. And thank god, to my knowledge, that has never happened. But what if it does?
I’d like to think that there isn’t some lunatic at a rival school who decides one night to storm the court after a big win, and make a bee line to a player on the other team and cold cock him. What’s to stop a kid who’s been “pre-gaming” all day from getting wrapped up in the moment, running on the court, and shoving a 65-year-old coach to floor by “accident”?
“Storming the court” has been going on for decades, but these days it’s getting out of control. It used to only be done after a school defeated the number one team in the nation at home, or maybe even their biggest rival. Now, it’s after you win a game that’s on ESPN.
I’ll admit that I once did storm the court. Albeit was at a mid-major school and there was no television coverage. Hofstra University had never beaten a ranked opponent at home at the time they knocked off #25 George Mason back on February 23, 2006. I was not a student there at the time, but was sitting in the 2nd row, right next to the student section. When the students emptied onto the court, I said to myself, “What the hell? Why not?”. Nothing got out of hand, and it was just sheer joy for a school not exactly known for its basketball program.
When 400 kids pour out into the court from a smaller school, it’s from one section. But at these larger schools, you can see that people come from everywhere. There is a sea of lunacy that pours out onto the floor like a tidal wave. There’s no way for security to protect everyone.
The NCAA has cracked down on students tearing down the goal posts at football games and I believe that they will soon come down with the same type of rules for storming the court. The NCAA can not afford to have a lawsuit on its hands after some idiot decides to do something dumb. For the safety of its students, student-athletes, coaches, and stadium personnel, the NCAA will need to address the situation before it becomes too late.
Some may say that the NCAA is looking to take away from the fun of college athletics once again. But for once, it would be a smart move to ban the “Perfect Storm”.