College coaches, leaders call for court-storming regulations

College coaches, leaders call for court-storming regulations

Following a series of concerning incidents involving court storming in college basketball, prominent figures within the sport, including Jon Scheyer, Bill Self, and other leaders, are advocating for a ban on the practice due to safety risks and potential legal consequences for athletes and students.

The call for action intensified over the weekend following an incident where Duke star Kyle Filipowski was bumped by Wake Forest fans during a court storming after the Demon Deacons’ victory over the Blue Devils. This incident, coupled with previous occurrences, has prompted discussions about the need to address court storming immediately.

On the ACC media teleconference call, Scheyer urged the conference to implement a court-storming ban without delay, emphasizing the need to prioritize player and personnel safety. Scheyer highlighted the potential dangers of court storming, citing Filipowski’s near-injury during the incident. While acknowledging the excitement surrounding college basketball, Scheyer stressed that only players, coaches, and officials belong on the court.

Bill Self, who has witnessed safety issues firsthand during court storms, echoed Scheyer’s sentiments, advocating for a complete ban on court storming. Self recounted incidents where players and officials were injured during court storms, emphasizing the potential negative consequences outweighing any perceived benefits.

Several conferences have already taken steps to address court storming, with some imposing fines on home schools under certain circumstances. However, the ACC currently does not issue fines for court storming incidents, and there are no plans to penalize Wake Forest for the recent incident involving Filipowski.

Penny Hardaway, head coach of Memphis, acknowledged that court storming had previously been viewed as a celebratory moment for fans but noted a recent shift in tone due to safety concerns. Hardaway emphasized the need to prioritize the safety of both players and fans, suggesting that teams should exit the court before fans storm it.

The conversation surrounding court storming extends beyond coaches, with conference commissioners also planning to address the issue collectively. Brett Yormark, the Big 12’s commissioner, highlighted the need for a unified approach to address court storming, recognizing it as an industry-wide concern.

Greg Byrne, the athletics director at Alabama, went further, suggesting that teams should forfeit games in scenarios involving sustained rushes onto the court. Byrne’s remarks underscore the growing urgency to address court storming and ensure the safety of all individuals involved in college basketball events.