Indiana University could have met its budget or perhaps surpassed its monthly goal last weekend at Assembly Hall.
The funds could have easily been obtained in the form of handing out tickets for trespassing to those who stampeded the court after the Hoosiers stunned then top-ranked Kentucky 73-72, handing the Wildcats their first loss of the season.
For the record, fans always have been known to get arrested for trespassing during athletic events of any type during the course of history. One prime example that comes to mind is when a pair of Atlanta Braves fans circled the bases with Hank Aaron after the legendary slugger hit his 715th career home run to break Babe Ruth’s all-time career home run record at Fulton-County Stadium in 1974.
Although those two jubilant fans meant no harm to Aaron, they trespassed onto the field during a live game. Fans aren’t allowed on the field before and during athletic events, why should they be allowed to rush the court, field or whatever the surface is made of during a postgame celebration?
It makes no sense and turns a stable environment into a potential dangerous one. Just ask Danville Advocate-Messenger Sports Editor Larry Vaught, who escaped injury and the potential loss of his equipment after fans barreled through his media spot following Christian Watford’s last-second heroics that lifted the Hoosiers to victory last weekend. At the same game, Kentucky fan Megan Dills was injured after being knocked down “five or six steps” from her seat by fans who “rushed the floor like idiots.” Vaught still has his laptop, but Dills suffered a sprained ankle and some torn tendons. Dills should send her doctor bill to those fans who couldn’t wait to celebrate. Of course that wouldn’t be possible, but you get my point.
Elated and sometimes out-of-control fans of all stature, don’t know how to control their emotions, especially when their team wins on a last-minute shot to beat the opposition.
No question Indiana and its current coach — Tom Crean — needed a big win over a ranked opponent more than any team in the nation, considering the mess that Crean’s predecessor Kelvin Sampson left behind.
The Hoosiers’ upset of the Wildcats last Saturday in Bloomington put Indiana back on the national forefront and landed them in the Top 25 at No. 18 and dropped Kentucky from first to third in the latest rankings.
It was a big moment for Indiana and one that will be remembered for years to come in the Hoosier State. However, there must be a better way to celebrate the occasion.
The same goes for those who rushed the field after Kentucky defeated Tennessee in football last month for its first victory over the Volunteers on the gridiron in 26 years.
You win with class and also lose with it. Rushing the court or the field is never a classy way to celebrate.
If fans really want to be part of the competition, they can always take part in the “Running of the Bulls,” which resembles rushing the court and football field stampedes.