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Duke’s Scheyer Wants ACC To Implement Measures To Prevent Court-Storming After Injury

Feb 26, 2024, 3:30 PM

Wake-Forest-Duke-Mens-College-Basketball-2024...

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

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

APDuke coach Jon Scheyer wants the Atlantic Coast Conference to implement measures to prevent court-storming after star big man Kyle Filipowski was hobbled following a collision with a fan during a weekend loss at Wake Forest.

Scheyer said Monday that Filipowski was “a little bit sore” following the incident, which left him sporting a bag of ice on his knee after banging his right leg into the leg of a fan running by him toward midcourt.

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“Absolutely we shouldn’t wait until next year, something should be done right now,” Scheyer said during the weekly league coaches teleconference, adding: “At the end of the day, players and coaches and officials are the only people that belong on a court.”

Scheyer — who initially misspoke Saturday when he said Filipowski hurt his ankle — said Monday that the preseason Associated Press All-American didn’t require any type of diagnostic internal imaging for his knee to search for a structural injury. Filipowski didn’t have a significant limp when he spoke to a few reporters after the game, though his status wasn’t immediately clear for the 10th-ranked Blue Devils’ game Wednesday against an eight-win Louisville team.

Scheyer followed his postgame call to ban court-storming with a plea for the ACC to put such a policy in place now, even with Duke down to four regular-season games and only one on the road (at North Carolina State on March 4).

The ACC requires member schools to have detailed safety procedures in place for managing court-stormings. But it historically has not levied fines, something four of the six major basketball conferences do for a first offense — such as the Southeastern Conference issuing a $100,000 penalty on LSU after its fans stormed the court following last week’s win over a ranked Kentucky team.

The ACC has no plans to issue a fine to Wake Forest, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Monday. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the league hasn’t commented publicly beyond commissioner Jim Phillips’ statement Saturday night.

Still, the image of Filipowski having to be helped off the court amid the chaos only added to the discussion on the dangers of court-storming in a season with multiple run-ins, the highest-profile one being when Iowa star Caitlin Clark was accidentally knocked down by a fan running onto the court after a January upset loss.

Purdue coach Matt Painter raised concerns about court-storming security measures after a loss at Nebraska, less than two weeks before Clark’s collision. And on Sunday, after his Boilermakers had beaten Michigan, Painter reiterated those concerns while noting that court-storming fans can simply overwhelm security measures set out in pregame plans.

“But also watch the weather, because when they say it’s snowing, you’ve got to be ready for the snow,” Painter told the AP. “You know Duke’s coming to town or you know Kansas is coming to town or the (then-) No. 1-ranked team in the country, UConn, is coming to town. If they get upset, it’s probably going to happen.

“Well, they probably should make a rule so it doesn’t happen, period. Just period.”

Painter went on to say: “The NCAA has got to step in here and show some leadership on this. Because what’s happened to Caitlin Clark, what happened to Filipowski, should not happen.”

It’s a position echoed by Kansas coach Bill Self, who said the court-storming at Wake Forest “was one of the quickest ones I’ve ever seen.”

“That happened so fast,” Self told a small group of reporters Monday. “And if you don’t have the proper security in a situation like that, it would be hard to imagine that fans do not come into contact with visiting players, which could lead obviously to injuries or maybe legal things down the road. I would hope they could totally do away with them.”

To Self’s point, Scheyer pointed to the risk of confrontation, noting that Jared McCain had a fan run onto the court and stop right in front of the freshman as McCain tried to exit the court Saturday.

“It would be wrong of me not to speak up for all the student-athletes that can be put in this position,” Scheyer said. “And something needs to change now before something serious happens. Go back and look at Jared McCain, and the position he was in when that game ended. Where the kid could’ve punched him in the face, he could’ve punched the kid for his own safety.

“When you get a student or a fan that close to you, face to face, 2 seconds after the game ends — we’ll regret that as college athletics, college basketball, if we don’t do something to prevent that from happening in the future.”

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Duke’s Scheyer Wants ACC To Implement Measures To Prevent Court-Storming After Injury