On Feb. 24, the Arizona Wildcats traveled to Boulder, Colorado and faced off against the Colorado Buffaloes.
The Wildcats entered last week ranked ninth in the nation, while the Buffaloes remained unranked.
Arizona had a lot on the line. Having already lost to Oregon earlier in the year, the Wildcats needed a win to keep pace in the Pac-12 standings with the Ducks.
They couldn’t, and fell a game back in the conference and dropped their sixth game this year. For Colorado, the win meant a lot to the team, the school and the students. A big win over a storied program in its own building was exciting for the students and they followed suit with a lot of lesser schools after big wins and stormed the court.
When the clock hit 0.00, the students all filed out of the student section and onto the floor to celebrate with their fellow classmates without regard for who they were bumping into or colliding with. In many cases, the people being collided with were frustrated Wildcat players trying to get off the floor and back to their locker room.
After the game, Arizona coach Sean Miller expressed his displeasure in his postgame press conference, not about the game, but about the court being stormed.
Miller said, ““If 7-foot-2, 250-pound Kaleb Tarczewski gets bumped literally within three seconds of the game ending and he retaliates, what would be the response of our conference?
“If we lose, at least let us get off the court so that our guys aren’t potentially in a situation where a lawsuit could come. Because when that comes, then and only then will people pay attention,” he added.
Miller couldn’t be more correct College athletes are just kids and the frustration that comes in after a tough loss plus the immaturity that 18- and 19-year-olds is going to result in someone acting irrationally, throwing a punch and a student getting hurt.
The SEC has taken action in football, banning schools from allowing their students to storm the field and the rest of the NCAA should as well.
Miller may not have been successful on Wednesday in Boulder, but he was successful in communicating his message.
Court storming is dangerous and it’s going to take something bad for the NCAA and its conferences to pay attention and do something.
I’m with Miller. The NCAA needs to do something about court storming before it, the schools and the players have lawsuits filed against them because some immature, distraught kid got frustrated and threw a punch after losing an emotional game.
If the NCAA isn’t going to ban the practice of court storming, it at least needs to put some rules in place regarding it. Maybe those rules include getting the visiting players off the floor first, but whatever they are they need to keep the visiting players safe and get them out of that hostile environment.
One final note, you don’t see the Duke-, North Carolina- or Kansas-caliber teams of the league running out on the floor after the game. They’re above that, and so should everyone else.