March 3, 2013
Mike Krzyzewski is familiar with storming the court tradition in his career at Duke, especially when being on the wrong end. Since 1997, Duke has lost on the road 50 times — 42 times resulting in fans rushing the floor. Following Thursday's 73-68 loss to Virginia (and subsequent court storming), Coach K raised safety issues in the post game press conference.
"Whatever you're doing, you need to get the team off first," Coack K told reporters following the game. "Look, celebrate, have fun, obviously you won, that's cool. Just get our team off the court and our coaching staff before students come on.
"I'm always concerned about stuff like that, especially at this time of the year. What if that happened and we get a kid suspended? That becomes the national story. It's not all fun and games when people are rushing the court, especially for the team that lost. Again, congratulations to them, and they should have fun and burn benches and do all that stuff. I'm all for that. They have a great school, great kids, but get us off the court. That's the bottom line."
The Raleigh News & Observer also reported that Coach K was not attempting to take away from the Cavaliers' win, but his concern was proven valid in a report Andrew Jones of FOXSports.com.
The 66-year-old Krzyzewski stopped and hollered an F-bomb at a fan before security could drag him away. Right behind the Hall of Fame coach were his players, some cursing at fans, some ignoring it and ducking into the hallway. Assistant coach Jeff Capel went back and yelled a few curse words while another assistant coach, Steve Wojciechowski, did his best to quickly usher players into the safe area.
It's been an unpredictable college basketball season so far, storming the court has been a common theme. Many will react to Coach K's comments as just plain whining and from this video it looks as if UVA security did a good job for the most part. Yet he's been through court storming enough to know the risk and this season has shown it's a legitimate concern. It only takes one incident from either a fan, coach, or even a player before this becomes full blown problem.
Whether you are pro-storming and believe it's good for the game or you feel the tradition needs to end or at least tweaked in away, this issue is far from being over.
Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne