THE BLOG
03/14/2014 02:46 pm ET Updated May 14, 2014

Storming the Court

Picture this.

You're at a basketball game and the teams are neck and neck. The clock is winding down, but the intensity is building. The crowd is on their feet. Suddenly, your team hits a buzzer beater and the game is over. You won! Fans rush out of their seats and storm the court.

This scene is not too uncommon this time of year. Basketball games are getting more and more important with NCAA bids on the line.

With March Madness approaching there is an important question to raise, is there a place in college basketball for storming the court?

Duke's Coach Krzyzewshi has a lot of experience with court storming in the aftermath of games. He believes it is becoming an increasing dangerous trend.

"You need to get the team off first. Look, celebrate, have fun, obviously you won. That's cool. Just get our team off the court, and our coaching staff before the students come on," he said after a court-storming incident in a loss to Virginia in 2013.

This issue has been ongoing, but most recently ignited because of the Feb. 27 game between Utah State and New Mexico Valley State which had both court storming and a brawl.

Most people tried to blame the fight on K.C. Ross-Miller, a New Mexico State guard who chucked the ball down court at the buzzer and hit a Utah Valley State player in the process. The incident should have ended there, but because of the fans storming the court it didn't.

ESPN's Dana O'Neil believes that the court storming cannot be blamed for the brawl.

"The only court-storming rules should be to have fun, be safe, and be responsible," she wrote. "Oh, and one more. If one person acts out of line, punish him or her. Not the storm."

Those responsible - here Ross-Miller and teammate Renaldo Dixon -- should be dealt with end of story which the Western Athletic Conference has done in suspending them.

Since the incident the Pac-12 has been actively thinking about the issue of court storming.

"We were looking hard at it anyway based on things that happened in our conference," Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott told Sports Illustrated. "But what [that game] did was show everyone the additional danger involved in fans storming the court. Our highest responsibility should be safety."

The Southeastern Conference (SEC) is ahead of the curve and has had a policy in place since 2010 that fines schools for storming the court. Fines for schools range from $5,000 to $50,000 when students rush the court following a game. But this rule doesn't cover all situations.

ESPN's Digger Phelps is strongly in favor of court storming.

"The SEC -- oh, you can't rush the court because it's a $25,000 fine of a $5,000 fine (for a first offense) -- please," he said in a media interview before an ESPN GameDay Colorado appearance. You know what you do? At your 20 year reunion you're going to talk about it. And some student who is now a multi-, multi-millionaire says, 'Yeah, I'm going to give $20 million for the school to build a new science department.' Based on him rushing the floor 20 years ago. That's what that is."

Yes, storming the court is harmless most of the time. But there are those rare incidents where it isn't. If you're lucky enough to score seats to a post-season game, enjoy the jaw dropping performances and amazing feats of athleticism. Be sure to savor every moment whether or not it includes storming the court.