The Student News Site of Clemson University

The Tiger

The Tiger

The Tiger

Brownell leaning toward court storming ‘not being a good idea’

Matt Mynes
Clemson head coach Brad Brownell said on Saturday that he is starting to lean toward court storming not being a good idea following Wake Forest fans storming the court against Duke the same day.

Clemson head coach Brad Brownell has been a part of several court storms over his 14 seasons at Clemson, but following the incident at Wake Forest on Saturday, he’s leaning toward court storming being a thing of the past.

Speaking to the media following his team’s 74-63 win over Florida State on Saturday night, Brownell was asked about Saturday’s incident in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where Wake Forest fans rushed the hardwood after upsetting the Blue Devils. In the midst of fans storming the court, Duke star forward Kyle Filipowski collided with several fans and had to be helped off the court.

While Brownell likes the camaraderie that comes with fans joining players and coaches on the court after a game, he also believes the coinciding dangers and risks may be too high for court storms to continue.

“I hate it because that’s what is great about college. You’re experiencing it with your student body. Having said that, you can’t have players getting hurt,” Brownell said. “Crowds are aggressive. Fans are aggressive. I do worry about confrontation. What’s going to happen is a player not only get hurt, which I hate to hear that — I hope Kyle is okay. But you’re going to have some kid get in the face or walk up to a player, and the player is going to respond in a way nobody is going to like because he’s going to feel threatened. Then we’re going to have a real problem. That’s the scary thing in terms of worrying about protecting your players. Our whole job is to protect our guys and make them better. We have to be super careful. I’m starting to lean toward it not being a good idea.”

Brownell’s comments came hours after Duke head coach expressed his frustration with court storming and Filipowski’s injury.

“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,” he said.

In light of Saturday’s events, change may be coming in the ACC.

The conference released a statement Saturday evening saying it will assess the best options to protect players and their safety.

“The safety of our student-athletes is always our top priority,” the statement read. “We have been and will continue to be, in contact with both Duke and Wake Forest regarding what happened following today’s game. Across college athletics, we have seen far too many of these incidents that put individuals at serious risk, and it will require the cooperation of all – including spectators – to ensure everyone’s well-being. As a conference, we will continually assess with our schools the best way to protect our student-athletes, coaches, and fans.”

Filipowski isn’t the only star college basketball to be on the wrong end of a court storm. Iowa’s Caitlin Clark also collided with an LSU fan last month after the Hawkeyes fell to LSU. Like Filipowski, Clark needed attention and help to get off the court, leading to the SEC fining LSU $100,000 in connection to the court storm, which is against the conference’s policy.

Time will tell if the ACC changes its rules to prohibit any sort of court storming. One way or another, the conversation around fans coming face-to-face with their school’s athletes has never been hotter.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Tiger

Your donation will support the student journalists of Clemson University . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Justin Robertson
Justin Robertson, Associate Editor
Donate to The Tiger

Comments (0)

All The Tiger Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *