What's next? Royal Mounties, tear gas at college basketball games?

By Steve Sell
March 02, 2014

I keep thinking that at some point court storming in major college basketball is going to go the way of the hula hoop, the pet rock and “Whassup?”

But, sadly, this idiotic fan demonstration is becoming more and more a part of our culture.

I’ve seen several sad cases of this foolish and hooligan-like practice recently. I don’t buy into it as “kids being kids” and it being “cute.” It’s simply wrong and should be dealt with harshly.

 Kansas State’s fans recently stormed the court at Bramlage Coliseum after the Wildcats knocked off in-state rival Kansas. Granted, it was only the fourth Wildcat victory over the Jayhawks in 52 games, but fans with any sense or knowledge would know that Kansas hasn’t been a good team on the road this year (six losses after the Oklahoma State collapse) and the Wildcats have been one of the nation’s best home teams. Kansas State fans should have expected to win that game, no matter what the past history might indicate. Wildcat fans are among the best in college basketball and they’re better than that to charge the court. What if, in their zeal, one of their players had gotten hurt and forced to miss the rest of the season?

And what would Wildcat Godfather Bill Snyder think if Kansas State football fans rushed the field and tore down the goalposts after a victory? You can bet he’d be hot because he wouldn’t want to have to play for new goal posts.

Thursday may have been the ugliest incident of all. Some school called Utah Valley received national attention probably for the first time in its history when its fans stormed the court after upsetting New Mexico State. Right as the game ended, New Mexico State’s K.C. Ross-Miller fired the ball right at Utah Valley’s Holton Hunsaker — Ross-Miller by the way should be suspended for the season in my book — and the fans who charged the court to celebrate decided to go all Muhammad Ali by throwing haymakers at the New Mexico State players. This could have been a frightening situation

On Saturday, there were two more incidents. 

South Carolina’s fans must have wax in their ears. Moments before the Gamecocks completed their upset of Kentucky, an announcement was made to stay off the court and then security began surrounding the court. That didn’t stop the SC denizens, who ignored security presence and charged out anyway. What do fans really do on the court except jump up and down and look like a ship of fools?

Finally Saturday, Oklahoma State’s fans rushed the court after a toppling of Kansas (why do the Jayhawks always seem to be involved, always on the wrong end?) Do the Cowboy fans not remember they were picked to be in the Top 5 in the nation and were supposed to win the Big 12? Again, given Kansas’ softness on the road, this should not have come as a surprise. But Cowboy fans celebrated like they had just won the national tournament.

Oklahoma State’s image already is suffering from the stench of super flopper Marcus Smart going into the crowd and pushing a Texas Tech fan, though I blame the fan more than Smart in that instance. Fan is short for “fanatical” and that’s just what college basketball crowds have become.

Because of an SEC rule that I wish all conferences would adopt, South Carolina is going to have to cough up a $25,000 fine for its numbskull fans acting like out-of-control goons. I wish somebody would give me $25,000, there’s a lot of good uses I could put it to.

It’s going to come to the point where colleges will have to bring in the Royal Mounties — at much expense – and arm them with tear gas. That sounds extreme, but you have to combat this lunacy somehow. My belief is that at some point somebody is going to be seriously hurt in this mindless trampling — or worse. I don’t even want to go there, as it would be a black eye that college basketball might never recover from.

By the way, Wichita State accomplished the greatest feat in years in college basketball on Saturday by closing the regular season 31-0. Did you see Shocker fans storm the court?

No. That’s called class.