Wednesday, February 25, 2015

It's About Ethics in Court Storming Journalism

          Court storming when your basketball team pulls off a major upset is as an essential part of the college experience as ending up in a drunken stupor on a frat house carpet at least once (except if you're me, but who cares about my lack of a life). It was always somewhat controversial, at least because some people feel that denying college students their fun is somehow fun in of itself, but now after Bill Self got lost in the human crush at Bramlage Coliseum Monday night, the whole enterprise has been thrown into question. It's really about ethics in court storming journalism, isn't it?
        Storming the court in basketball, or the unicorn like storming the field in football are never going to be safe exercises, especially when so many half drunk college students are part of the equation. It's not as if going to a sporting event live was ever going to be as comfortable as watching the game on your couch, even if it's far more fun and exciting. People go to sporting events to see upsets like what happened on Monday night in Manhattan, and you can't deny their right to be excited about it, especially unhinged college students. Personally, I'd much rather see a court storming than anything going on down the main drag which may or may not include couch burning.

       At least Bill Self was honest when he said after his team lost to Kansas State, "That's disappointing that it happened again, but we also allowed it to happen again," keeping some perspective alive when all everyone is talking about is how a Kansas player got shoulder checked out of the way of onrushing students.  Then, one night later in College Park after Maryland upset #5 Wisconsin, many fully expected Terp students to rush the court in a feat of fury like they usually do in those situations. They did, but it was if someone put their thumb over the end of a hose, so it was more of a half court storming, which is better, but doesn't that neuter the purpose of the word "storm"?

   It's not even so much about whether court storming is warranted anymore, because college students rarely operate on logic in those situations. It's now become about whether court storming should even be allowed anymore. It's surprising that it's taken this long for that to fully enter the national discussion, but the thought of ending court storming for good has probably been bandied about long ago, and will probably be tossed out into the fray once another coach gets crushed against the scorer's table. And let's be honest, this will happen again and again and again until it's fully banned, if it's ever fully banned.

   And while on principle I should hate court storming because it involves buzzed college students acting like morons most of the time, I can't get mad at it (usually). Depriving those adrenaline filled students inside the arena probably means something will happen outside of it, and God knows what that could be, especially at my institution (thank God they're not playing Duke anymore). If a team that never is any good beats Duke at home, let the students rush the court. What harm is being done, (and a suit being lightly dusted up doesn't count)? Sure there will be media puff pieces about why court storming is the spawn of the devil, etc. etc. but it's college, let the kids have their fun.

   The safety is up to the security at the arenas to keep in check, and they normally do a very good job of it. Unless they were caught up in the upset that took place behind their backs, they will do a fine job in marshalling what is in essence a human crush. There's no reason to not trust them. If they're doing their job, court storming like what was seen at Kansas State will be the exception, not the rule.

   It is about ethics in court storming journalism. And court storming wins.

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