South Carolina basketball whipped the Kentucky Wildcats last week, and the Gamecock Faithful stormed the court after the win. Three other unranked teams knocked off top-10 squads last week (Ohio State women's basketball beat Iowa, Tulane defeated Memphis, and Oregon State knocked off Arizona) and stormed the court.
Rushing the court after a big win is something that is demonstrative of the passion of college sports and is special for the fans and the players involved.
ESPN's Jay Bilas doesn't agree. In a ridiculous rant on the set of College GameDay, Bilas blasted the Gamecocks (and some other programs that he didn't mention by name) for being on the court after the game ended.
Bilas argued that "fans don't belong on the court, ever. Ever." Bilas called out former University of South Carolina president Harris Pastides for posting pictures of him heading to the court after the victory. He also says that it hypocritical of the Southeastern Conference to fine athletic departments for the practice while the programs and the media "encourage it." "It's just stupid," Bilas said.
A valid concern brought up by Bilas and others when they argue against court-storming or field-storming is player safety (though, they never seem to care about fan safety). The Caitlin Clark flop from last weekend is referenced by some, but the Iowa star greatly exaggerated her fall after seemingly initiating the contact with the fan in the first place.
Besides, Kentucky coach John Calipari laid out a blue print for exactly how to keep players safe: Coach Cal had his team exit the court in the closing seconds so that South Carolina basketball fans and players could celebrate together a major victory. If safeguards were put in place to allow visiting players to leave the floor or field, then the only people who would be in the celebratory chaos would be the ones who want to be there.
Until that happens, fans should expect Bilas to keep complaining. One of the most likeable guys covering college basketball has turned into the guy who whines and complains about everything, and that doesn't seem to be changing.