Cue up the Kurtis Blow and welcome to "If I ruled college basketball." ESPN.com gave me dominion over college basketball for the day and I'm going to use my newfound power to change student sections. As I pass the mantle of power to my colleagues for the rest of the week, they'll cover different aspects of the game. But I chose to start with the student section, because nothing is more integral to the college game. Take heed to the words that I manifest:
Big-money donors must make way for the kids. Every arena's seating system will henceforth allow students to encompass up to the first 10 rows in every section surrounding the court. The only exception is the area directly behind the opposing team's bench. (There's a reason why Duke and Michigan State have two of the best atmospheres in college hoops right now. This idea just completes where their student sections cut off.)
• This move eliminates the possibility of a "wine and cheese" crowd.
Season ticket holders -- only those with lower-tier seats -- must donate their seats to students for games they're not planning to attend. Failure to do so could mean permanent forfeiture of seats. Those ticket holders running a little late should call ahead to alert the seat fillers. Taking a page from award shows, a student would be allowed to sit in those seats until the real ticket holder arrived.
• This move ensures that no lower-level seat goes unfilled.
For the really big games televised on ESPN, the student section must lift Dick Vitale and force him to crowd surf whether he asked to or not (just because it always looks like he's having fun.) Some fan bases, who shall remain nameless, might be tempted to drop Vitale for some grudge they've been holding far too long. Let this be a warning: If he touches the ground, no punishment will be great enough for that student section.
• Vitale is a college basketball icon and should be treated as such.
Like seriously, they have to stand up. I just made it law that students get courtside seats they didn't have before, so I don't want anyone at courtside sitting. The only exception is if the home team gets behind by 20 points. And should anyone ask the person in front of them to sit down, they shall be escorted from the arena.
• This move keeps fans engaged, albeit a little tired, the entire game.
CLEAN IT UP
I hereby outlaw all profane actions in words or in deeds. No more chanting "B.S." or anything else directed at referees. Officials make mistakes, but so does your team. As an extension of this law, no more directing personal insults at opposing players or coaches. Using game-related insults -- minus profanity -- are fair. Any talk about relatives of players/coaches or some personal nugget dug up off the Internet would be a violation.
• This move keeps games family friendly.
I forever abolish the playing of "Sweet Caroline." I know, I know. Some of you are mad. But trust me, it's for your own good. Part of the problem here is it seems like in the past, oh, five years or so, every pep band at every school started playing it. It's just played out. As a substitute, Cameo's "Skin I'm In," or "Talking out the Side of Your Neck" must be in the rotation.
• This move is just because I said so. Otherwise, what good is it to be king?
I hereby allow all undergraduate students to rush the court. Not a word to opposing players or coaches. In fact, if they're in your path, step to the side to allow them to exit. The only caveat to this law is it can only be done one time per season. And it goes without saying that it must be a big game. Those student sections that choose not to rush the court lose the right to comment on rival student sections that do. (It's college, people. Lighten up. How many things do you do around age 20 that make no sense now?)
• This move keeps it fun. After all, it's just a game.