Court Storming in Collegiate Basketball: A Different Perspective

Kurt WirthCorrespondent IMarch 4, 2013

Virginia topples Duke, Feb. 28, 2013.
Virginia topples Duke, Feb. 28, 2013.Lance King/Getty Images

I'm an innovator. That is when it comes to social media at least.

I joined Facebook when it was called TheFacebook and joined Twitter back when the website featured little birdies with speech bubbles above their heads.

One of the most fascinating topics for me, and one that I'm focusing on in my graduate thesis, is the impact of social media on the realm of collegiate sports. The evolution of Twitter as a replacement for newspaper articles and even blogs has turned regular sports writers into social media celebrities.

Among those I follow are Gregg Doyel, Seth Davis, Jeff Goodman, Jason King and others. Recognize those names? It's probably because of Twitter.

Topics like concussions, expanding the NCAA Tournament, and even gay rights generally bring out a unified opinion from the talking heads. The value vs. the danger of court storming in college basketball has brought out the fangs from both sides of the argument, though.

Mike Krzyzewski of Duke, after hurling some F-bombs while being rushed in a recent loss to Virginia, has called for an NCAA-wide ban on the practice, leading the ACC to consider a penalty system similar to that in the SEC. Will Leitch of New York Magazine responds, "Nobody cares what you think." Predictions have been made by USA Today and Fox. This is clearly an issue that will find resolution, and will do so quickly.

Being trampled can hurt. In fact, it can kill. The sensationalist media have been not-so-secretly hyperventilating, waiting for the first instance of an injury to a player or coach, which has yet to happen. These kinds of things, though, can and do happen and have gotten out of control in years past.

Did you miss the part where I said it hasn't happened yet? Fans—the ones that put themselves at danger - have been hurt, but no coaches or players. Need I remind anyone that college basketball is well over 100 years old?

Another interesting logical oddity to all of this is the incessant disregard by many media of the comparison of injury in the sport itself and in court stormings. Refer back to the "zero" number quoted earlier, and compare that to the amount of players—and coaches, for that matter—injured in games and practices.

There simply isn't a relevant risk apparent in court-storming. Is there a potential for harm? Yes. Does it seem to be a significant risk? No. No, it doesn't. It certainly doesn't outweigh the tradition of court-storming and the ability for fans to celebrate a big win.

Personally, it seems like there's been one genius proposition that should help everyone meet in the middle. Matt Norlander of CBS fame has proposed a mandated delay to court storming. Fans would be allowed to storm but after players and coaches have shaken hands and left the court.

This might delay the celebration a bit, but that's a small price to pay for guaranteed safety. If the fans want to risk it so they can spin their shirts above their head screaming "NUMBER ONE," let them.