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ESPN reports: Coaches call for end to court storming

Wake Forest Demon Deacons fans storm the court after a win Duke Blue Devils at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Feb. 24, 2024, in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Wake Forest won 83-79. (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

(WISH) — After another incident in which a college basketball player was hurt when fans of the home team stormed the court after a win, the issue is being thrust again into the spotlight.

More than a month ago, Iowa Hawkeyes basketball star Caitlin Clark collided on the court with a fan as Ohio State celebrated a victory over her team. Clark was OK after the incident.

On Saturday, Duke’s Kyle Filipowski was injured after the final buzzer sounded amid a rush by Wake Forest fans who stormed the court after the Demon Deacons defeated the Blue Devils.

The win was a major step toward the school earning a spot in the NCAA tournament, ESPN reported.

Video showed Filipowski hobbling and needing to be helped off the court by a teammate and a team manager. Filipowski seemingly was unable to put his weight on one leg as a sea of fans swirled around them.

ESPN reported that Filipowski believed the contact was intentional.

“It’s just really ridiculous how that situation is handled,” ESPN reported Filipowski as saying, quoting WFMY after the game. “I absolutely feel like it was personal. Intentional for sure. Like I said, there’s no reason where they see a big guy like me trying to work my way off the court and they can’t just work around me, you know? There’s no excuse for that.”

Duke coach Jon Scheyer called for court-storming to be banned altogether, ESPN reported. “When are we going to ban court storming? How many times does a player have to get into something where they get punched, or they get pushed, or they get taunted right in their face? It’s a dangerous thing.”

Scheyer recalled the incident involving Clark, the outlet reported. “It’s one thing, like when I played, at least it was 10 seconds and you storm the court. Now, the buzzer doesn’t even go off and they’re running on the floor. This has happened to us a bunch this year.”

Wake Forest coach Steve Forbes agreed said court storming should be banned, according to ESPN.

The Athletic Coast Conference said in a statement, “As a conference, we will continually assess with our schools the best way to protect our student-athletes, coaches, and fans,” ESPN reported.