Big 12 schools could face big penalties for court storming

Big 12 schools could face big penalties for court storming

Published May. 27, 2015 8:51 p.m. ET

IRVING, Texas (AP) Big 12 Conference schools could now face fines, and even the loss of future home games, for failing to keep fans from storming courts or rushing fields after games.

Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said the measure passed Wednesday gives him a broad authority to deal with such violations.

''I don't know that there's anything off the table in dealing with those issues,'' Bowlsby said at the end of the first full day of the league's spring meetings. ''I think I've been given broad prerogatives to deal with those issues.''

In February, Bowlsby publicly reprimanded Kansas State for failing to prevent Wildcats fans from pouring onto the court after the school's men's basketball upset victory over rival and then eighth-ranked Kansas


The surge of humanity crushed Kansas coach Bill Self against a press table. His junior forward, Jamari Traylor, was body-checked by another fan. Assistant coach Kurtis Townsend had to peel away still more fans shouting profanities and making obscene gestures at his players.

Bowlsby said then that revisions to policies must guarantee that no such incidents like that should occur in the future.

''We are certainly most interested in the safety of our participants and would include home team, visiting team, officials, table crew and the like,'' the commissioner said Wednesday. ''And we have pretty good video evidence of all our big events so we can review them.''

The Southeastern Conference has been fining its schools since 2004, and at its meetings this week in Florida is looking to substantially increase fines for such on-field violations.

By agreeing earlier this month in Phoenix on a football tiebreaker, the league took care of one of its most publicly visible items after last season, when Baylor and TCU were declared co-champions and both were then left out of the first four-team College Football Playoff.

The league has slowed talk on a move to bring back a conference football championship game - the Big 12 is the only of the Big Five conference without one. But that couldn't even be an option until changes in NCAA legislation that currently allow only leagues with at least 12 members to host a title game.

''That's one thing we didn't talk about today, because we haven't gotten the enabling deregulation yet,'' said Bowlsby, adding that he felt that deregulation could happen this fall and could become a topic of discussion during a regular Big 12 meeting in October.

The commissioner said, however, that he gets a sense now that everybody in the league feels good about its place in the football playoff system.

''I don't think a year makes a trend,'' he said. ''We aspire to compete at the very top of the nation, and if you can win our league with a full round-robin, you're a good football team.''

Among some other items Wednesday:

-The league adopted a ''return to learn'' provision in its protocol about post-concussion treatment.

''There are certainly well-enunciated protocols to return to competition, but there's also a period of relative inactivity from a cognitive standpoint after a concussive event,'' Bowlsby said. ''Student-athletes who are injured with head injuries aren't immediately ready to return to their educational activities.''

-On future football and basketball schedules, Bowlsby said it was just ''nuts and bolts scheduling stuff.''

Some talk related to NCAA legislation that would limit the number of basketball games to 30 without any exempted events. In football, the commissioner said there have been no steps taken to prohibit Big 12 teams from scheduling an FCS opponent, or requiring them to play at least one team from another power-five league.

''I think nine games with a full round-robin is as strong a schedule as anybody in America plays,'' Bowlsby said. ''That's the foundation on which we start. And because that foundation is so strong, I don't think we have the imperative to do some of the things other leagues have done.''