Facing two more potential court-stormings if they don’t win this weekend, the Arizona Wildcats have decided enough is enough. Already having giddy opposing fans rush the court even before time ran out during two losses earlier this month, Arizona is now planning to ask the Pac-12 to consider a penalty for teams whose fans storm the court before the Wildcats have a chance to leave it. “I do think we need to look at it from a safety standpoint,” Arizona AD Greg Byrne said Tuesday. “Just like any year, we have new ideas and thoughts to discuss, and one of the things that will probably come up is if there’s a way to prevent court-storming. “I’m not sure if I have the solution, but I want to discuss it.” The SEC already has a policy that schools face a $5,000 fine for a first offense when fans storm the court, but Arizona could also seek that a technical foul be assessed to teams with fans on the court — a penalty that could affect the game’s outcome. UA coach Sean Miller, however, did not speak in detail about Arizona’s position when asked during Tuesday’s Pac-12 teleconference call. The Wildcats, who will play at Utah tonight and Colorado on Saturday, lost at Cal on Feb. 1 and ASU on Friday. “I don’t want to take away from the victories of Arizona State and Cal,” he said. “I’m sure our conference will take a long look at how to improve it and take the next step.” ASU coach Herb Sendek, whose fans raced onto the court Friday at the end of the Sun Devils’ 69-66 win over UA, looked at both sides of the issue. “It’s a long-standing tradition in college basketball where teams storm the court after their home team has big wins, but you could certainly foresee possible danger,” Sendek said. “Our administration would have to weigh the costs of that and make a decision at a conference level.” Then again, UA guard T.J. McConnell has an idea that can make all of this a moot point — not giving fans anything to rave about in the first place. But doing so probably won’t be easy tonight, in front of an expected five-figure, near-sellout crowd at the Huntsman Center, where Utah is 16-1 this season. “We pretty much know when teams play us they’re going to play their best, and they’re gonna sell out their arena, maybe for the first time when we come there,” McConnell said. “It’s kind of their Super Bowl when we play them, and we’re used to that. “We’ve seen people rush the floor twice, and we’re going to try to make sure that doesn’t happen again.” But even by the rough standards of road games the Wildcats have already faced this season — at San Diego State, Michigan, UCLA and Cal – tonight’s atmosphere could be even more intimidating.
Wildcats, McConnell trying to avoid another court-storming moment
Arizona Daily Star | Feb 19