Schulz: Court storming should be allowed, to be discussed in spring

INDIANAPOLIS -- Kansas State president Kirk Schulz told ESPN that court storming is a cool part of college basketball and should be allowed, but the opposing players and officials must be protected.

Schulz said the Big 12 will address the issue at its spring meetings. The SEC is the only high-profile conference where schools could be fined for storming the field of play.

Kansas State was at the center of the court-storming controversy when the Wildcats beat rival Kansas on Feb. 23 in Manhattan, but the Bramlage Coliseum security failed to protect Kansas' staff after the game. Jayhawks coach Bill Self found himself pinned against the scorer's table and needed the help of Kansas State counterpart Bruce Weber just to escape the jubilant melee.

Weber also was caught up in the student scrum, as well, at one point pushing and screaming to create space and push people back. One fan, K-State student Nathan Power, was identified after he ran onto the court and pushed Kansas' Jamari Traylor. He was later cited for disorderly conduct.

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby publicly reprimanded Kansas State for being unable to corral the students.

"Revisions to policies and procedures must guarantee that no future incidents occur," Bowlsby said at the time. "in order to effectively and uniformly ensure the integrity of our contests, the security of the student-athletes and coaches, and the safety of the spectators."

"Maintenance of a sports-like environment around our contests is among the most important responsibilities shared by our members and enforced by the conference office. The events following the KU vs. K-State game should be a call to action for all of us."

Self was adamant at the time that the opposing team should be able to get off the court without issue. Court storms after the KSU-KU game, like Maryland's win over Wisconsin in College Park, led schools to create a quick line of security along the sideline to get the opposing players and staff off the court without incident. In the Kansas State case, the security was noticeably late, running with the students from one side of the court to the other and had no chance to stop the horde of humanity.

Schulz also defended the NCAA's role in policing academics Thursday and said there's no need for more involvement.

"I have no desire at Kansas State University to have the NCAA more involved in our academic enterprise," Schulz said.

NCAA president Mark Emmert, in his state of the NCAA news conference earlier Thursday, had said member schools want the association to handle eligibility issues but mostly want autonomy when it comes to academics. He said it is the responsibility of the institutions to ensure a quality education and that "we're not parking out student-athletes over in some particular area or program that's not academically rigorous and doesn't allow them to be successful."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.