MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) Kansas State athletic director John Currie promised to review the school’s security procedures after an upset of eighth-ranked Kansas on Monday night turned into a chaotic scene as students and fans rushed the court.
Currie also apologized in a lengthy statement to Kansas counterpart Sheahon Zenger, Jayhawks coach Bill Self and his team Tuesday morning, and said the school would review video of the incident along with law enforcement personnel to identify fans who became unruly.
”Although no one was hurt last night,” Currie said, ”we fell short of our expectations for securing the court and escorting KU to its locker room without incident.”
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NCAA spokesman David Worlock said there are no national rules against court-storming, but that conferences and individual schools are expected to provide sufficient security.
The Big 12 said in a statement that it was reviewing the postgame celebration, and that ”in accordance with conference policy, home team game management is responsible for the implementation of protocols to provide for the safety of all game participants, officials and fans.”
Currie said that security formed a human barrier Tuesday night, just as they are instructed. But he said they were unable to get into position in time, even though the Wildcats led for several minutes at the conclusion of the game, and it had become apparent long before the final buzzer that a sea of humanity was ready to rush the floor.
As the court was engulfed, Self was nearly crushed against the scorer’s table, and Kansas State coach Bruce Weber tried to shield him. At the other end of the floor, Jayhawks assistant Kurtis Townsend could be seen yanking away a student who was taunting several players.
Kansas forward Jamari Traylor was even hip-checked by a student rushing onto the court. The video quickly went viral, and Kansas State police posted a picture of the student on Twitter on Tuesday morning and asked for the public’s help in identifying him.
Throughout the game, students also engaged in profane chants directed at their rival.
”It’s a ballgame,” Self said. ”It’s not about chicken-winging somebody when the game’s over. Hopefully, they can get that corrected. It’s fine if you want to celebrate when you beat us, that’s your business. That’s fine. But at least it shouldn’t put anybody at risk.”
This is the second time this month that Kansas has had the court stormed after its defeat. A similar scene unfolded following a loss at Oklahoma State.
”While we are proud of the incredible atmosphere of Bramlage Coliseum and the passion of K-State students and fans, we are saddened by the insistence of some fans to sully the image of our great institution with audible profane chants,” Currie said. ”We will continue to work with our student leadership to provide a better example of sportsmanship for our audiences.”