Court-storming’s luster is eroading right before our eyes
The concept of court storming is one that has had its legitimacy debated in recent years. The SEC has already banned court storming and the Pac-12 may soon follow.
Or at least that’s what Arizona head coach Sean Miller has suggested after his Wildcats lost on the road to Colorado on Wednesday. Here is his full statement as provided by the Arizona Wildcats Instagram account.
“Let me say one last thing here. The one thing that I’ll say about our situation is simple, this: I have no problem being a great sport and I have no problem recognizing that Colorado deserved to win tonight. They won the game. They’re the better team. But eventually what’s going to happen in the Pac-12 is this: An Arizona player is going to punch a fan. And they’re going to punch the fan out of self-defense. And when it happens, only when it happens, will everybody say `We have to do something so that when the game ends we have a deep breath to be able to leave the court. Or at least shake the other team’s hand and then get to our locker room.’
“And then if the court wants to be stormed, fine. But until that happens, it’s fallen on deaf ears because there’s only one team right now that the court’s stormed on and for three consecutive years anytime we lose a game on the road it’s the same. Some are more under control, some aren’t. But if 7-foot, 250–pound Kaleb Tarzcewski gets bumped literally three seconds after the game ends and he retaliates, what would be the response of our conference? What would be the response? If more teams were having the court stormed on them, I wouldn’t be the only guy who’s bringing it up.
“There’s no sport — football, any sport in the country, professional, major league, whatever, where this happens to the level it happens. And what I mean is it’s literally within five seconds you have a mad rush on the court before our players can even leave the court. We lost to a good team. All credit should be pointed to Colorado.”
A court-storming occurs when the home underdog defeats a highly ranked opponent. For some reason this season, everybody is losing on the road. You may have a future NBA star on your roster but God forbid you wear a different colored jersey.
In the Pac-12, it’s Arizona and 11 pests. So Miller and the Wildcats have been subjected to watching opposing fans storm the court for the 10th time in the Wildcats’ past 11 road losses.
Miller alleges that nobody in the Pac-12 cares about the court-storming situation because it’s only happening to Arizona. He suggests that it would take a player punching a fan in the face for some action to be taken, but that has happened before.
Two seasons ago Utah Valley defeated the visiting Western Athletic Conference powerhouse, the New Mexico State Aggies. Right around the same time the hot-headed Aggie guard K.C. Ross-Miller hurled the basketball in disgust, the Utah Valley fans stormed the court and a fight ensued.
Just a week later a UC Santa Barbra student fan rushes the court to confront the visiting Hawaii coach after he furiously called for a technical foul.
With the way college basketball is trending towards a place where teams, from the worst to the best, are expected to lose on the road, the concept of court-storming has lost it’s luster. It’s no longer a spontaneous celebration. It’s expected now, and because of that, it is a tradition no longer worth continuing.