Big 12’s chief reprimands K-State for court-storming case
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Big 12 Conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby is publicly reprimanding Kansas State for failing to prevent Wildcats fans from pouring onto the court after the school’s upset victory over rival Kansas.
Bowlsby’s admonition Wednesday came the same day Kansas State student Nathan Power was publicly identified as the fan who body-checked Kansas forward Jamari Traylor after the Wildcats’ 70-63 victory over the No. 8 Jayhawks on Monday night at Bramlage Coliseum.
Kansas State police said Power, part of a wave of Kansas State fans who rushed onto the court in celebration after a game peppered with profane chants by fans, has been cited for disorderly conduct.
Though there were no known injuries related to court-storming, Bowlsby insisted in a statement on the conference’s website that Kansas State’s written events-management policy "was unsuccessful in ensuring the safety and security of both game participants and spectators."
"Revisions to policies and procedures must guarantee that no future incidents occur," Bowlsby said, urging all universities in the conference to reassess game-management procedures "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," he said. "The events following the KU vs. K-State game should be a call to action for all of us."
The Big 12 has no policy barring spectators from entering playing areas or that govern foul language and inappropriate chants at the league’s venues, Bowlsby said he has asked that those topics be discussed during the next meetings of the conference’s athletics directors and chief executives.
Earlier Wednesday, Kansas State said a cooperative Power met voluntarily with that university’s police on Tuesday, after they had sought public help through Twitter in identifying a photograph of the student shown making contact with Traylor.
With Power’s identification, Kansas State police said the matter is closed.
The 19-year-old Power didn’t immediately respond to an Associated Press interview request Wednesday sent to his Kansas State student email account. A message left at his family’s suburban Kansas City home was not immediately returned.
A person identifying himself as Power, in a letter Tuesday to Kansas State’s student newspaper, apologized for running into Traylor, "breaking from the Wildcat way and stepping outside what is acceptable in the spirit of the game."
"Following the basketball game I simply let my emotions get the best of me in all of the chaos," the letter to the Collegian read. "In my excitement I was not careful of the people I was around. I am sorry that I made the KU basketball team — Jamari Traylor in particular — feel disrespected. By no means can I change what took place but in the future I will be aware of how emotions can impact good judgment."
In his own letter to the newspaper, Kansas State President Kirk Schulz urged Wildcats fans to be vigilant about how their conduct reflects on the university.
"Good reputations are hard won and easily lost," according to that letter, which the university on Wednesday confirmed to be authored by Schulz. "We believe the Wildcat Way is to create a family friendly atmosphere at all of our athletic events. Let’s put on the purple and represent our university with pride in all of our upcoming athletic events."