No. 9 Arizona fell 75-72 to Colorado last night, the buzzer coming just after Allonzo Trier’s potential tying three clanged harmlessly away, and then, for the 10th time in the Wildcats’ last 11 road losses, the home fans charged the court.
Arizona head coach Sean Miller has been vocally anti-court storming for a while, even saying earlier this week he wants schools to be fined if their crowds rush the hardwood. (Currently the only conference that does so is the SEC, and Miller’s comments after this game were particularly pointed, given that Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott was in the house last night.)
After the game, Miller said it’s going to take a lawsuit for people to start listening to him.
“Eventually what’s going to happen in the Pac-12 is this: An Arizona player is going to punch a fan, and they are going to punch the fan out of self-defense. And only when it happens will everyone take a deep breath and say, ‘We have to do something to protect both teams.’”
“If we lose, at least let us get off the court so that our guys aren’t potentially in a situation where a lawsuit could come. Because when that comes, then and only then will people pay attention.”
I think Miller is right. Not necessarily about court-storming itself, which is a highlight of any kid’s college experience and overwhelmingly harmless, but that one day it’s going to go bad. There will be a lawsuit (separate from the many suits already brought against stadium and arena security), and a crackdown, and lots of people wondering everyone waited until after the incident to speak up about it. Whether the small but inevitable risk of that scandal is worth addressing proactively is an open question, but at least no one will ever be able to say Miller’s concerns aren’t already on record.