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Since Caitlin Clark collided with a fan who stormed the court after Iowa was upset by Ohio State, debate has been renewed about whether it’s OK for fans to enter the court.
The Buckeyes took down the Hawkeyes in overtime Sunday, 100-92. But as Clark tried to exit the floor, she and a Buckeyes fan collided.
Clark was tended to by an Ohio State player and coaching personnel from both sides. She was helped back to the locker room but told reporters she was doing OK after the collision.
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Penn State Nittany Lions fans storm the court after winning a college basketball game against the Wisconsin Badgers at the Bryce Joyce Center Jan. 16, 2024, in University Park, Pa. (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Clark said she got “just hammered” and called it “kind of scary,” but she understood the moment was “good for their students” and “totally fine.”
But one big name in college basketball says it’s time for court storming to end.
Jay Bilas, now a “College GameDay” analyst, said it’s going to get to a point where it may be too late.
“The passion of it is great. I love the passion. Fans do not belong on the court. Ever,” he said Saturday in front of Arkansas fans who stormed the court several weeks ago after a win against Duke.
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Bilas received plenty of boos from the crowd, but he held firm.
Fans storm the court after the Nebraska Cornhuskers defeated the Purdue Boilermakers at Pinnacle Bank Arena Jan. 9, 2024, in Lincoln, Neb. (Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)
“When somebody gets hurt, we’re going to get serious about it,” he said.
Bilas made note that fans rushing courts or fields is now banned at the professional level. Yankee Chris Chambliss famously touched the area of home plate after his walk-off home run that sent New York to the World Series because fans who had stormed the field stole the plate.
“They protect the players, and we don’t do it in college,” Bilas argued.
Bilas made sure to mention the incident with Marcus Smart and Texas Tech fans when Smart played college ball.
“Players don’t belong in the stands,” Bilas said.
Fans of the Arkansas Razorbacks storm the court after a win against the Duke Blue Devils at Bud Walton Arena Nov. 29, 2023, in Fayetteville, Ark. (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
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The Southeastern Conference fines schools $100,000 for storming the court, but that didn’t stop South Carolina fans from doing so this week after they beat No. 6 Kentucky. A second offense is $250,000, while subsequent offenses will cost $500,000.
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