Kansas State University Athletic Director John Currie apologized to the Kansas University basketball team Tuesday for the school security failure at the Bramlage Coliseum Monday night when Wildcats fans stormed the court after a 70-63 upset victory over the Jayhawks. "On behalf of President [Kirk] Schulz and K-State Athletics, I apologize to Athletics Director Sheahon Zenger, Coach Bill Self and the KU basketball team for the unfortunate situation in which they were placed last night at the conclusion of our basketball game," Currie said in a statement, according to ESPN.
"Our security staff, which in similar past postgame celebrations has, according to our procedures and rehearsals, provided a solid human barrier to allow the teams to conduct a postgame handshake and safely leave the court, was unable to get into proper position quickly enough last night and was overwhelmed by the fans rushing the floor,” he added.
Swarming Kansas State fans pinned Jayhawks coach Bill Self against a scorer’s table, while one fan threw his shoulder into Kansas basketball player Jamari Traylor. Kansas State’s police department tweeted a photo of the fan and asked the public to help them identify and find the individual. Kansas State officials also plan to review security footage of the court-storming incident.
“I wasn’t nervous for me. There were several students that hit our players. I’m not saying like with a fist, but when you storm the court, you run in, you bump everybody, stuff like that. This has got to stop. I think court-storming is fine, but certainly you can get security to the point where players’ safety is not involved like it is here the last several times,” Self said after the game, according to the Kansas City Star.
The NCAA does not have rules against postgame court-storming, which traditionally occurs in the event of a major victory or upset. But the Big 12 Conference reiterated in a statement Tuesday that the host school is responsible for stadium safety.
“The Big 12 Conference office and the two schools are reviewing the postgame celebration that occurred at the conclusion of last night’s Kansas at Kansas State game. 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,” the statement said.