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Kansas State apologizes for court storming

February 24, 2015 /
The Kansas State men’s basketball team is not having a good season. So naturally, when it beat rival Kansas (ranked No. 8), chaos ensued.

Kansas State fans storm the court after beating No. 8 Kansas on Monday.
Kansas State fans storm the court after beating No. 8 Kansas on Monday.

Fans stormed the court, and while that’s not entirely unusual, this time it caused trouble. Kansas coach Bill Self was crushed up against the scorer’s table during the postgame handshake, and police are now interested in speaking with a fan who appeared to purposely run into a Kansas player.

Kansas State Athletic Director John Currie today issued this statement:

“On behalf of President Schulz and K-State Athletics, I apologize to Athletics Director Sheahon Zenger, Coach Bill Self, and the KU basketball team for the unfortunate situation in which they were placed last night at the conclusion of our basketball game.

Our security staff, which in similar past postgame celebrations has, according to our procedures and rehearsals, provided a solid human barrier to allow the teams to conduct a postgame handshake and safely leave the court, was unable to get into proper position quickly enough last night and was overwhelmed by the fans rushing the floor.

K-State prides itself on providing a great game atmosphere in a safe environment and did successfully execute our security plan when we defeated KU last year in Bramlage, as well as in 2011. Although no one was hurt last night, we fell short of our expectations for securing the court and escorting KU to its locker room without incident. We are disappointed that we did not do better for the KU team.

We are reviewing our procedures internally and consulting with our law enforcement partners to determine any steps necessary to improve our gameday security.

Additionally, we are actively reviewing video and working in concert with law enforcement to identify any fan who intentionally touched visiting players or personnel. We will take appropriate action with such identified persons, including turning over all evidence to law enforcement so that any applicable charges can be filed.”

There was once a time when court storming meant something, but not so much anymore. I can understand unexpectedly knocking off the nation’s top-ranked team on your home floor, but students today rush the court in situations that don’t call for it. Beating an eighth-ranked team? This shouldn’t have happened.

The SEC fines schools that storm the court, but most other conferences allow it. Perhaps it’s time we do away with the tradition to protect those on the floor. It was almost a year ago when this happened, and Utah Valley fans began fighting with New Mexico State players on the floor.

You witness altercations like that and it’s hard to believe something has not yet been done.


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