The Southeastern Conference (SEC) announced significant increases in fines and required rules in attempts to remove field and court stormings from the court, apparently forgetting that college athletics is supposed to be fun.
SEC release on new field-storming policies pic.twitter.com/4lWauu7q6i
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) June 1, 2023
I have participated in many court storms in my day, mostly because when I was a student any Penn State Basketball conference win was a giant upset. Are they scary? Are they potentially dangerous? Are there potential negative consequences? Yes, yes, and yes. But, that pales in comparison to the memories the students will have from that experience. Think about what goes into a court or field storm: It’s almost always an upset, often a David beating a Goliath situation. The fans storming likely had a crappy year (or years). This is their one chance at true jubilation for the year. Why would we want to discourage that? I had friends who came to a game where we stormed the court and said they would come to more games solely because of how much fun that court storming was. Is the SEC trying to reduce attendance at lower-level schools?
Court Stormings are Good for College Basketball
Storming the court also makes for great pageantry on television and in person. Who can ever forget the sea of white after Penn State Football’s ‘Block-Six’ victory over Ohio State. That’s an image that Penn State will be using in recruiting for decades. Are there concerns of player safety? Absolutely. Police and security, instead of futilely trying to stop the storming from happening at all, should focus on corralling the students in one safe area, allowing them to celebrate with their team and for the opponents to leave the field safely. Frankly, that seems WAY easier than trying to stop a screaming mob of 20,000 from entering the field at all. But, let’s talk about the real reason the SEC is doing this. It’s because when a conference team beats Alamaba, their fans are storming the field. And Nick Saban doesn’t like this. He’s tired of opposing fans storming the field when they lose. And frankly, allow me to say, too freaking bad. As long as your team and staff are kept safe, the fans, who have likely lost their last billion games versus the Crimson Tide, should be able to celebrate with their fans. I’m sure the Big Ten would follow suit if we heard significant complaints from John Harbaugh or Tom Izzo. Here’s hoping they remember what it’s like to be in college and allow students to have that once-in-a-lifetime experience.