Mar 3, 2014, 12:07 AM EDT
With the problems experienced at the conclusion of Thursday’s game between New Mexico State and Utah Valley, the debate regarding court-storming is once again active in college basketball. Should court-storming be banned? That’s a question individual schools and their conferences will be left to address, but one conference that’s ahead of the curve in this regard is the SEC.
The SEC made its move back in 2004, prohibiting fans from rushing the court (or field, in the case of sports such as football) and instituted fines for schools whose fans violate the rule. For a first offense a school can be fined $5,000, with fines rising to as high as $25,000 for a second offense and $50,000 for a third.
South Carolina fans rushed the court on Saturday at the end of their 72-67 win over No. 17 Kentucky, and such an occurrence could dampen the mood of some administrators. But not South Carolina president Harris Pastides, who even joined in on the fun after realizing his school was going to lose money anyway according to Thad Moore of the Daily Gamecock.
USC President Harris Pastides on the UK court storm: "Once I realized I was paying [the fine] anyway, I ran down … I enjoyed every dollar."—
Thad Moore (@thadmoore) March 03, 2014
For some court-storming leads to discussions in regards to which programs should do so, and which ones have done far too much to “stoop” to such a level. Not here. The biggest concern should be safety, not whether or not a school is too prestigious to have its students celebrate on the court. That’s why the SEC put its rules in place.
And for the leagues that don’t have a rule prohibiting court-storming, the wall of security that kept fans away from Syracuse and Virginia players at the conclusion of their game on Saturday would be a good example to follow.
With there being no reports of anyone being injured during South Carolina’s rushing of the court, what’s wrong with a little fun despite the fact that it’s likely to cost the school some money?
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