Saturday, October 5, 2013

Line-cutting, mobbing has KU Athletics reviewing Late Night admittance protocol


Kansas Athletics will be examining its admittance procedure to future Late Night in the Phog events after many fans complained about a lack of crowd control, line cutting and mobbing at the entrance of Allen Fieldhouse on Friday.

On Saturday, associate athletic director Jim Marchiony said KU Athletics will “examine all our protocols regarding Late Night and talk about what things we may need to change and how to change them.”

Considerable hype preceded this year’s Late Night event, which included the KU introduction of nation’s top basketball recruit, Andrew Wiggins. All day Friday, photos circulated on social media of long, winding lines and fans who had camped overnight to secure a decent spot in line to the free event.

But by the time doors opened at 5:30 p.m., fans began to report frequent cutting in line and a rush to the front entrance.

Once the building’s 16,300 seats were filled, doors closed and an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 fans were turned away. That thousands were unable to be admitted was not unexpected. At issue, fans said, was lack of crowd control.

Traci and Dwight Bennett traveled from Derby to meet their daughter, Amber Hess, of Lenexa, on Friday and secured a spot in line at around 11:45 a.m., Traci Bennett said.

“Absolutely no one was watching from the university for any crowd control,” Bennett said. “We didn’t see any security outside and nobody made sure people stayed in line.”

At one point, Bennett said, what appeared to be students began filing in front of her family, “sometimes 20 to 30 at a time.”

Once the doors opened for a brief period of time, Bennett described a mad dash to the fieldhouse with rows of people piling toward the front of the line and becoming “packed like sardines” once the doors were closed. Fights broke out and, at one point, members of one family threatened to harm another, Bennett said.

Marchiony said Kansas Athletics used cattle guards to control the crowd, as had been procedure in years past, but Bennett — in addition to numerous people writing on Facebook and Twitter — did not recall seeing any university officials or security outside the fieldhouse.

“It was just mad,” she said, later adding “there was absolutely no security.”

Sarah Schneider, a junior at KU from Mulvane, said crowd control was less organized this year than in previous years. Last year, tickets were passed out to those waiting in line about 30 minutes to an hour before the doors opened, she said. But this year tickets weren't handed out until just as the doors opened.

"There was just one girl handing out tickets," Schneider said. "She looked kind of afraid because so many people were running at her."

Students often use camping groups, which require only one person from a group as large as 30 to be in line. Campers from Schneider's group had been in line since 6 a.m., but when she got there at 4 p.m. she said the lines were beginning to merge together. When the doors opened she said the large crowd began rushing in all at once.

"We started running too because we didn't want to be left behind," she said. "I had to hold on to my friend's shirt or I would have been lost from the crowd I was going with."

Responding to a volley of complaints via its Twitter account Friday night, the athletics department seemed to blame the behavior of the fans.

“It’s a shame that some fans didn’t follow protocol and ruined the experience for others, again, we’ll do our best to improve,” @KUAthletics tweeted.

Marchiony said KU Athletics will examine whether offering general admission to Late Night is the appropriate way to do it going forward.

“Last night certainly served as an impetus to examine all the protocols related to Late Night, there’s no question about that,” Marchiony said. “We don’t want to change the spirit and the atmosphere of what Late Night has been, but we do have to consider fans’ behavior and safety and the general fan experience.”

Luke Ranker contributed to this story.

Reporting intern Luke Ranker contributed to this story


pepper_bar 8 years, 10 months ago

KU Athletics blaming its fans for KU's failure to implement basic crowd control procedures for a no-ticket event. Brilliant.

Lance Cheney 8 years, 10 months ago

Well, in reality, it was our fans that did it. I agree there should've been SOME sort of crowd control. It's just unfortunate that a few selfish, worthless lowlifes had to ruin it for others.

pepper_bar 8 years, 10 months ago

I wasn't there, but my understanding is there were hundreds of fans sparking these problems by cutting in line and running to get in, and they had a domino effect that ultimately caused thousands to bum rush the doors. How on earth could a major athletics program not predict that kind of issue?

texashawk10 8 years, 10 months ago

The blame goes to both sides. The people selfish enough and have little respect for those already in line and on KU for not have officials stationed around AFH when they knew it was going to be a significantly larger crowd than in years past. Fortunately, it doesn't appear as if there were any serious injuries which was a major concern I had after seeing some of the pictures from last night.

hawk316 8 years, 10 months ago

Precisely. Well said, texashawk10. As bad as it was, it could have been worse if injuries had resulted.

kellerman411 8 years, 10 months ago

The fraternities and sororities started the whole thing. Then the other students followed, how disgusting. I remember when I was in school, I would show up late to a bar or something and my friends would already be inside. One would come to the door urging me to just cut line and come in but I never could do it. My mother really made sure that basic respect for others is something my siblings and I grew up with.

Really sorry for the rest of the alumni who had their day ruined by animals. I'll remember this when one of them needs a job.

Tim Orel 8 years, 10 months ago

So you're going to ask them if they were at Late Night on their job application? Seriously?

Martin Shupert 8 years, 10 months ago

I had attended Late Night for 26 consecutive years. I was shut outside because the KU fans acted more like Sooner fans (think about that one) than Jayhawk fans. Those who cut in line should be ashamed of themselves. They are not real fans. The way to solve this is easy. 1. One line going south... 2. monitors walking on both sides of the line, kicking anyone out who cuts in... 3. a police presence... 4. small gifts such as T shirts, pictures of players, action shots signed by Bill Self, raffles for more expensive things handed out to all who are turned away, a front row seat to next year's Late Night, etc.

JBsJAYHAWKS 8 years, 10 months ago

You mean Missouri fans - oops sorry, they don't know what a winning team is - ok OU fans!!

optimist 8 years, 10 months ago

While the University probably could have done more to manage the event it seems unfair, bordering on ridiculous to blame them for the behavior of a significant few. In what world is it okay to ignore common courtesy, ethics and respect for others? I can’t believe how many are actually downplaying individual responsibility in their posts. These people behaved in a socially unacceptable way. It seems that self indulgent and disrespectful behavior is growing in this country, especially among the youth. It is evidenced by the rude driving habits I see displayed every day in Lawrence. If you want to see a halt to this sort of thing then the majority of us, and I hope it is still a majority, that still possesses some semblance of decency should castigate these people publicly for their behavior and any time such behavior is demonstrated.

Lance Cheney 8 years, 10 months ago

If anyone figures out how to keep people out, let our offensive line know. Hey-yo! Rimshot

rockchalk22 8 years, 10 months ago

It was absolute madness. I had been in line since about 10:45 and didn't get in. Thousands of students cut in line and completely ruined the experience for the people who actually spent all day waiting outside for a spot. It's true that the athletic department should have done a MUCH better job with their line control and security, but people should have enough decency and respect to not cut in line.

Lance Cheney 8 years, 10 months ago

I didn't realize it was THAT bad. Holy cow. I think it kind of speaks to where society is heading as a whole, to have that many students (and probably some non-students) act that way.

Adam Miller 8 years, 10 months ago

Hell, I'd been there since noon... didn't get in. It seemed that most of the people who were turned away had been the ones waiting in line forever (as the line stretched away from the building). I was talking to be people who'd come in from out of state just for this event, who'd been waiting as long, if not longer for entry and who were left outside. I mean the END of the line bum rushed the door and the entire middle/frontish part of the line ended up barred from entry.

Curtis Stutz 8 years, 10 months ago

Sorry to hear others had the same issues my brother and I had. He took work off on Friday, we drove 315 miles and waited in line for 2 hrs. Not as long a wait as some others, but we put a lot of effort into going. I could have taken on the mob mentality and made my mad dash for it, but at that point I didn't even want to associate with the fans that were showing up 5 minutes before that, frothing at the mouths to get in, with no courtesy for the fans ahead of them and devoid of bearing or integrity. I'm amazed if no little kids got hurt. Shameful display by both the selfish fans that cut and the athletic department. Really sorry for those that waited all day long and especially the kids that had waited outside for so long. I used to hold AFH with a nearly religious reverence until this fiasco.

JBsJAYHAWKS 8 years, 10 months ago

The University is totally at fault. They have some real idiots working the games. It would have been nice if Coach Self would have stepped out or maybe the AD and said "Hey folks, you've got to be quicker than the person in front of you."

Seriously, why didn't the university give everyone outside a ticket to an exhibition game or something. One guy in a red vest was handing out tickets to his friends, he needs to be fired - he walked right pass our group to his friends. What a jerk!!

TheBoHawk 8 years, 10 months ago

....ahhh the F you attitude towards everyone and everything has finally reached all the way to my beloved KU... these students suck.

Adam Miller 8 years, 10 months ago

You know, up until last night I would have said you were just being cynical, but after the little show I had to deal with at the North Entrance, "F you attitude" has arrived and it is evident.

johninkc1 8 years, 10 months ago

I was on the North side in line near the parking garage. It appeared that we would have no problem making it in but it appears that the people in front of Allen had preferential treatment and pushed and shoved their way in. Most in our area appeared to be playing by the rules but were out shoved by the people in front. I expect more from our fans and more from the leadership of the University of Kansas. As I walked past the south entrance, a father and son left early and I thought maybe I could make it in but I was greeted by 2 rather unpleasant guards that said that the one out, one in rule would not be allowed. How sad that a night anticipated by so many was ruined by the actions of a few selfish idiots. I hope they all enjoyed themselves. Then I got home and learned that one of our great football recruits next year from my high school, SM West, died earlier last night. Suddenly, missing a glorified practice seemed unimportant and believe you me, I love KU basketball.

texashawk10 8 years, 10 months ago

Put Late Night back to the Friday of fall break like it traditionally is. That will take care of the student issue.

Erin England 8 years, 10 months ago

I wish that would happen. Never had a problem with entrance to Late Night until it was moved. However, you can thank the NCAA! They moved the date schools could begin practice.

pea 8 years, 10 months ago

Need to implement a certain # of tickets for students, a certain # tickets for families, etc... Make it fair so that people that cannot camp out for 12 hours have a chance to enjoy the event. As well as crowd control (esp at LEAST basic security), and a way to route people in an orderly fashion. Yes, it will take a lot of work. Big events require a lot of work.

I refuse to believe that no one, in any of the meetings preceding the event, suggested taking a look at crowd control. Major leadership failure. Embarrassing.

The same rush occurred last year. Once one small group rushes, it's over.

Obviously ticketing and seating for reserved/donor seats is important, but basic safety and respect for the rest of the fans needs to happen.

Either very thoughtless or very careless planning by whoever has to sign their name on this thing.

KU Athletics can keep using the word "protocol" all they want to try and deflect, but the truth is, there was no protocol whatsoever. Make one. Implement it. Act like you know what you're doing.

Phil Leister 8 years, 10 months ago

Simple solution: make this a ticketed event. It can still be free, but have a "pre-sale" of tickets online. The first 16,300 to reserve their tickets online get admitted. Having 20,000 people outside the arena, and opening the doors all at once, who didn't see this coming?

milehighhawk 8 years, 10 months ago

The blame lies squarely upon the Athletic Department on this one.

They should have anticipated there might be issues: just last year, thousands were turned away. This year, all the talk was of this being the most-anticipated Late Night of all time.

Did they honestly expect people to calmly walk in one-by-one when they flung the doors open?

I'm not saying those who rushed the doors aren't to be blamed--clearly they are at fault. But for the Athletic Department to be so naive is disappointing.

Phil Leister 8 years, 10 months ago

The tweet by KU Athletics is embarrassing. They should know better than to trust thousands of college kids on a Friday evening to be well-behaved. The crowd and KU Athletics both should have done better, but only one of those entities has the responsibility to ensure the safety of others.

pepper_bar 8 years, 10 months ago

In fact, KU Athletics issued numerous tweets using similar language, blaming its customers over and over and over again. Observe:

Adam Miller 8 years, 10 months ago

They did the same thing on their FB account.

AZJHAWK94 8 years, 10 months ago

"That thousands were unable to be admitted was not expected." Really?!?! You know the seating capacity for Allen. You know the demand for KU basketball, especially this year. You see thousands of people in line. Do the math!!!! Agreed that sadly you can't expect college kids to behave maturely but ultimately its a university event. Moving the date does nothing. You could do it Sunday at 3am, thousands upon thousands will show up. Late night has become too big for Allen Fieldhouse. I don't have all the answers, you can't move late night to the Sprint Center, or I don't know, maybe you can. I would start be televising the event, that will take some burden off. Some, but by no means all. Again, ultimately the demand for KU basketball is too high. A free, first come first serve event that pits students against families who can't otherwise afford to see the Jayhawks play live is a powder keg. The university best start planning NOW for next year.

Debbie Mangen 8 years, 10 months ago

I think it was supposed to be televised on the Jayhawk Network. I watched it online on ESPN3. I'm too old for the stampede anymore.

Tim Orel 8 years, 10 months ago

Plenty of folks (like me) have no access to ESPN3 unless we change cable or Internet providers, which is an expensive hassle. If ESPN3 allowed for subscriptions to anyone, then I think it would be a minor pain, but understandable. However, not even being able to get a subscription to ESPN3 locks me out. KU should have never locked out their fanbase.

dragnala74 8 years, 10 months ago

No one is mentioning that KU athletic department sold tickets to season ticket holders and were trying to hold seats for those individuals as reported yo someone at AFH. Seats were empty when it started.

Joseph Bullock 8 years, 10 months ago

there were 2 seats right next to me, that never got filled. they announced that people should move to give access for others, to empty seats, yet they did nothing to fill those empty seats. I went to the concession stand after the event started, and there were still probable thousands waiting for a chance to get in. all they needed to do was to have ushers ask if anyone was occupying the empty seats, and if no one was sitting there, have them bring people in, and take them right to those seats! now, as far as outside is concerned, they had some kind of staff that told people to put up their chairs outside, because they were taking up too much space, and making the lines a lot longer than they should be. that was done around 2:00PM, which at that point, I have no problem with that, as the lines were getting really stretched out, by then. But if they saw that, they should have known what was coming. For instance, we were near the statue, which is not far from the doors right in front, and at about 4:00PM, there was a tail end of a line that curved all the way around from the street, that was backed up almost to our line, but they were facing the street, as to know they had to go away from the building, and wind back, to get in. we were making bets on how many of them would simply turn and force their way in line, and a whole lot of them did just that. things like that is where Security should have come into play, before the doors were opened. just their presence near spots like that, would have eliminated a big problem right there. A loud speaker, telling people not to cut in line, bum rush, or push and shove (and those who do that will not be let in), coupled a good, Visible, Security presence, would have made it much better. tickets for the event is not the answer. it is tradition to have people camp out over night, and things like that are what makes our "Late Night" so famous, Nationally, and it also draws the attention, of great talent, who love fans that are so Passionate about their basketball team. Don't ruin tradition. Simply watch over it!!!

dragnala74 8 years, 10 months ago

This used to be a FREE event. A pep rally to introduce the two teams.

rockchalk69 8 years, 10 months ago

Maybe KU should sell tickets online. They was asking everyone bring in a can of food. Instead maybe next year charge $3.00 per ticket(cost of a can of food) and then donate that money to the food bank. Also, do something about games being blacked out in Kansas. I live in Lawrence and tried watching late night on espn3 and it was blacked out.

byron 8 years, 10 months ago

$3.00 for a can of food? You must be shopping at Hyvee

bennettcl 8 years, 10 months ago

Have the event at Memorial Stadium. It might be the only time the stadium is full all year.

ahpersecoachingexperience 8 years, 10 months ago

How about finding something better to do with your time than stand in line for hours just to watch bad dancing and a pickup game

pepper_bar 8 years, 10 months ago

"a herpes coaching experience" servin' it up cold.

Steve Gantz 8 years, 10 months ago

I'm growing a little more cynical to the fandemonium I see here and I agree. To each his own of course, but seriously folks!

Justin Diederich 8 years, 10 months ago

I have attended Late Night 14 years in a row! This was by far the worst experience I have ever had! We camp out over night to get close seats! This year they needed to hand the tickets out early like last year! Plus they opened the front doors 15 min early which started chaos cause everyone on the North side seen them run in and then they rushed the doors! For the people that didn't get in there was a plan to send them to Hougland ball park, that was canceled due to weather. Either way they need to keep this free for the family's that can't afford to go to a lot of games! Ku needs to also use the turn styles that were sitting along the walls! Hopefully they figure out how to make this stay free on a first come basis!

MinorThreat 8 years, 10 months ago

Perfect opportunity for the college to begin charging for this event. Judging by the way the tv deals have gone, I'd expect to have to pay (more than a can of soup) to enter Late Night next year.

bennettcl 8 years, 10 months ago

It was a ploy by the Athletic Department all along to figure out a way to start making people donate to attend this event. Brilliant!

jaygirl193 8 years, 10 months ago

In years past, Late Night was special because it was the ONLY chance for some families, and particularly kids, to watch their heroes in person at Allen Fieldhouse. This was precisely because Late Night was a FREE event and a fan had to do was get in line early to make sure to get past the fire marshall's count.

Although the capacity at the Fieldhouse is 16,300 the number of fans admitted is much lower at Late Night. Many seating sections are reserved for student-athletes (all KU varsity teams) players families, recruits, and in recent years high-level WEF members who essentially "pay" for reserved seats.

I'm very sad that the people who rushed the doors had to ruin it for the rest of us. I will be back for games this season, so personally it's not that big a deal. But I feel bad for the families who will not get another chance this season. The worst part of it is that from reading and hearing various accounts, the mob that rushed the doors was comprised mostly of KU students, who have plenty of chances to come back the the Fieldhouse and watch a game.

I'm very afraid that incidents like this will result in Late Night becoming a ticketed event. Not everyone can afford KU Basketball tickets.

Please, KU Athletics, don't let the greed of some ruin it for the rest of the fans. Better crowd control is a must. But please don't turn this into a ticketed event.

KUbsee69 8 years, 10 months ago

Sorry, but making it a ticketed event would weed out many of last night's crowd. I observed and heard from others about many students going just because it was a free event. They were'nt interested in Bball or the players. It was just something FREE to do on a Friday night ... just "the place to be". Charging a nominal fee would assure that fans who really care about Bball and the team would commit and attend. It wouldn't take a large sum ... maybe $5 a ticket.

Phil Leister 8 years, 10 months ago

That's the most ridiculous comment I've ever read. KU students don't go to a game/scrimmage simply because it's free. Show some respect to the best student section in America.

KUbsee69 8 years, 10 months ago

No, you're wrong. I was there. I heard them. They were actually saying that while in line. Other's observed and commented on it, too.

pepper_bar 8 years, 10 months ago

Routinely mangles the national anthem to mention the name of a Missouri-based NFL team = not "the best student section in America."

JBsJAYHAWKS 8 years, 10 months ago

GREAT JOB JAYGIRL193 - it is the only chance some people will get to see the boys - so let's be smart about this and make it fun - I love our team - coaches, etc. but for our friends who took the day off from work to come from OP - Jason and Courtney and to get shut out was very sad -

Use a different event to raise money, this is an event for fans, not donors - C'mon Shane, Shain, Shane - AD - C'mon Man!!!!

Adam Miller 8 years, 10 months ago

Just from a legal standpoint, what the hell was the KU Athletic Department thinking? Feigning ignorance doesn't cover it nor does it solve the issue. What if someone ended up seriously injured -- or worse, accidentally killed? It HAPPENS when crowds mob small spaces. There were little kids in the crowd. Elderly people. People were getting knocked about. Could you imagine the lawsuit?

Whoever was supposedly in charge of security should immediately be removed.

All KU needed were a few saw-horses and a couple of guards.

jcourt 8 years, 10 months ago

I have to agree with you. Part of having a position of administration is the ability to project and anticipate. But I doubt if a couple of saw horses would have done the trick. The fact is the event is to big now and security cost money, so free is over.

Michael Thorp 8 years, 10 months ago

I had a feeling that something like this was going to happen this year, which is why I chose not to go. There's been an increasing amount of line cutting at this event the last few years.

fromlarryville 8 years, 10 months ago

They really need to do something they trampled a older guy out of his wheel chair!!

chriz 8 years, 10 months ago

Didn't read all the comments, but texashawk10 has it...blame goes both ways. This is cultural phenomenon...we often forget that two sides can be wrong simultaneously. I think this has to do with the idea that people aren't in control of their behavior, that we're simply at the mercy of our environment. So then there's a "good guy" and a "bad guy"...obviously the "good guy" would never cause someone to do bad.

jhawkjunkie 8 years, 10 months ago

Allen Fieldhouse opened it's doors at 5:15, that's when the people at the end of the line and lined up along Naismith Drive cut across the grass towards the doors. The doors closed at around 5:45. Then around 6, an usher came out and handed out tickets, which caused many people to think that there was still room and maybe only a few lucky people were getting in (myself included). We waited. 6:00.6:10, 6:15. Finally at 6:30, a gentleman came out and announced the Fieldhouse was full and go home. Well after a lot of screaming and yelling and told that what do you expect from people who were making $8.00 on keeping crowd like that back, were told that we could go to the bars and watch it in T.V. If you go and read some of the twitter feeds. not only were people mad for being turned away, but ESPN3 wasn't working properly to stream the event, so KU graciously told people that for $2.95 you could watch it through thought that for sure there would be more security or something that I was missing that would keep more control in what KU was saying for weeks was perhaps the most highly anticipated Late Night in a long time .

milehighhawk 8 years, 10 months ago

Here's another idea: KUAthletics should be able to stream a live event with the audio & video sync'ed up if they expect to retain paying customers!

I've read multiple reports of folks experiencing the same issue I did - lag-time with audio and video was about half a minute, and was forced to mute the entire thing.

Debbie Mangen 8 years, 10 months ago

It was very hard to keep up with. Syncing the audio and video should not be that hard in this day and age of computers. But at least it wasn't blacked out in my area of Kansas. BTW- Thanks HyVee for sponsoring it.

johninkc1 8 years, 10 months ago

After failing to get in at the Fieldhouse, I drove home to KC and watched the men's skits and practice on TV. Perhaps next year, they could skip the skits and just have 2 practices back to back. I think most of the people there could afford to pay $5 a ticket for charity. If not, how did they pay for gas to get there. The commentators kept talking and telling us that some portions were copyrighted or some nonsense. If you are going to let TWC televise the event then do just that. No more excuses. Show the TV audience what the people in the Fieldhouse see. I would think that with the law school and few alumni attorneys, we could find a way to circumvent these copyright laws.

Jason Stubbs 8 years, 10 months ago

I have only missed two Late Nights in all the times that they have had it and by far it was the worse one I have been to.I was at the North end by the parking garage and my family and I got in line about 11:30 many hours went by and we were past by many students going to the front of the line. I wasn't able to seen what happened on the East side but about 5:20 I saw what looked like a ton of people rushing to the front of the building which caused many of the people behind us rush to the front instead of staying in line behind the many of us in line for hours. They had no thought of the property that they were running over around the fieldhouse. I am sure the groundskeepers were very happy to see the mess that was left for them this morning after all the work they do to make Allen Fieldhouse what it is. Shame on you!!!!!!! We are Kansas and we should not be like other places that have no respect for property and other people who stood in lines for many many hours. I was very saddened to hear of all the people that had stayed in line as long as we had didn't get in. We had a few seats here and there that had nobody all night and my wife even went down to customer service to tell them that there was room for more people but they said the house was full and were letting no one else in. My boy's for years have gone down by the locker room to meet the players and get autographs so we left the game to get in line and we were about 10 feet from the locker room. The best spot we have had in years. We waited in line for almost a hour which was normal waiting for the players to get ready. Then a police officer ( which I am not sure were he was at all the time we were outside) told everyone that coach said the players had things they needed to get done and they would not be able to sign autographs. What the heck changed for years past. They always have had things to do after with the recruits and that is to go out with the players and sign autographs which the players they have done that for years and years. Just a perfect way to end the night and start our 3 hour trip home. I am very sorry to all the people that were not able to get in. I hope and pray they change things for next year. We are KANSAS fans and someone needs to teach the younger ones how we need to act here. If you cannot handle the pressure on how to stand in line and wait your turn go to Mizzou or K state I am sure they had plenty of room last night for you.

JayHawkFanToo 8 years, 10 months ago

As I posted last night, move Late Night to the stadium after the Home Coming game or even earlier, as soon as it is allowed. Your ticket to the football game allows you to stay for Late night. Once you enter the stadium you cannot go out and come back, so the football team gets a full house the entire game and we have 50,000+ people for late night. Installing a portable court should not take that long and it can be done while some other activities take place around the court. If you can do it on a carrier, you can do it at Memorial Stadium.

Of course weather can affect the event.

Shannon Gustafson 8 years, 10 months ago

If their goal is for it to be organized, and to get food for the shelter, they should hand out tickets as you donate food. Have 15+ tables set up before noon, people stand in line, hand in their canned goods and get tickets in return. Have it limited where you need at least 1 can per person and only those present can get tickets (to prevent those who want to show up and get 30 tickets for their friends while donating a can or two).

Doing it this way, it's still first come - first served, it still brings in food (only much more once people HAVE to bring it), and it prevents the mob rushing the doors. Everyone would know well ahead of time if they don't have a ticket, they aren't getting in.

I was fortunate to get in this year but after waiting since 11 am, it appeared I was near the end of the group that got in. When I entered the the Fieldhouse, it was at least 80% full (not including the reserved seats that were nearly empty).

Speaking of reserved seats, it's a shame the recruits have to sit by them. The reserved fans rarely ever cheer, stand up, or act like they care at all. Seems the recruits would "feel" the AFH experience much better if they weren't stuck sitting by a bunch of old people who don't get involved with anything going on.

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago

First, we have something great here Late Night and this is a good opportunity for getting better at staging Late Night.

Second, start coming up with GETTING BETTER IDEAS and stop bash-whining. If you haven't got a getting better idea, at least stop blaming. If all you can do is blame, STFU and watch Sports Center till cooler heads figure about how to get better at this.

And stop saying everyone should have known. If everyone should have known, that doesn't change the need to get better now. And the fact is most of the posters above had NOT been posting about the need for getting better at this in the weeks before this event, when their Bash-whining might have accomplished something.

Late Night has just gone to another level. It does every 5 or 10 years. That's good! We just need to step up. Some day this could become much, much bigger. It is part of the living myth. It is destined to become a cultural Festival, if we step up. The trick is to try to keep it growing that direction and not into a totally neutered, spam-in-a can TV event.

We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.

GETTING BETTER IDEA 1: Offer reserved seating for 500-1000 KU students willing to volunteer and train as Late Night Pre-Event staff.

GETTING BETTER IDEA 2: Use current paid KUAD Security Staff to train and organize the kids into teams that valve crowd flow from several designated camping sites far from the doors. No more camping out at the doors.

GETTING BETTER IDEA 3: Require campers to clean up their sites BEFORE Pre-Event Staff escorts them into entrance approaches to the field house.

GETTING BETTER IDEA 4: Get the Coaches and Players out mingling with the waiting camping crowds and encouraging calm crowd behavior.

GETTING BETTER IDEA 5: either move the event to the stadium, for greater capacity, or issue tickets and make clear that without a ticket you don't get in.

GETTING BETTER IDEA 6: Never stop coming coming up with more getting better ideas.

JayhawkFanToo, good idea about changing the venue, but it might be too costly to create a floor and baskets at Memorial without charging for attendAnce. So maybe charge. Or ask for donations. But wAy to step up and think!!!!

Ad Astra per Aspera.

pepper_bar 8 years, 10 months ago

The "better idea" stated or implied in many posts above is that KU should implement basic crowd control procedures for future Late Night events. Sorry we didn't spell out the specifics of how that would be done for your benefit. It does make sense to leave the details of implementation to experts, no?

And insisting KU should be held accountable for its failures, since KU has yet to state in any medium I've seen that it intends to accept responsibility on its own, is hardly "bash whining." Ditto those blaming the terrible KU students who took advantage of KU's failure at the expense of their fellow fans; I see nothing wrong with calling them out.

Steve Gantz 8 years, 10 months ago

I camped all night in a parking lot on the south side of Chicago at old Comiskey Park for playoff tickets in 1983. The same thing happened, the late comers arrived and ran across the lot scooping up the best tickets. I got stuck sitting behind a camera booth with Chet chit chat, an annoying Chicago sports personality. I could hardly see the game.

The issue was the same then as it is now. Selfish people. It's not surprising as I get ready to worship. We are selfish by nature. And it's been that way since the beginning of time.

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago

Yes, so true wissox; this phenomenon is old. I got caught in a scary rush at a KU GAME and at a rock concert IN THE 70s, but, at the same time, since the beginning of time, when we decide to get better at activities, we do. It may be slow and we may backslide. But It's only before we try to get better that we don't. Each year, students enter your classroom and they get better at your curriculum. It's a fact.

We can and will get better at managing Late Night crowds. The only question is if we will do it in a way that does not kill late night, or does kill it.

Steve Gantz 8 years, 10 months ago

As far as I'm concerned they can kill latenight, doesn't do anything for me and probably is more of an annoyance for the coaching staff than anything real productive.

Randy Glenn 8 years, 10 months ago

Im sure I was not the only one that took the day off to attend and did not get in and I accept that.The parents of a member of the track team that was honored were in front of us didnt get to go in either--they should of had a seat reserved for them. Crowd control would have helped as we all knew what was going to happen when the doors opened and it did!! Hope nobody was hurt as this could have been a serious situation. I like the idea of getting a ticket for donating food--I brought mine from SW Kansas and there was hardly any in the barrel when I put it in.

johntuggle 8 years, 10 months ago

Since KU Athletics is, in the final analysis, all about money, starting selling tickets to late night. That would raise a lot of money and solve the crowd control problem.

Layne Pierce 8 years, 10 months ago

As a graduate of KU from a family of KU graduates,I expect nothing less from KU than the best in whatever we do.

KU Athletic Department, you simply did not do your best for this event, and in settling for less you downgraded this incredibly wonderful event, and turned it into a riot.

Last year tickets were issued, and we had no incidents. Last year there were more security people. Last year the event worked fine. Why the change this year given the certainly of an even larger crowd.

I stood in line for over 3 hours for nothing. I have come this event since the very first Late NIght With Larry.

Because of your carelessness and indifference, a man next to me who had come all the way from Hays and stood in line with me for 3 and 1/2 hours did not get in.

A mother and father who came from all the way across the state did not get in to see their daughter a member of the gold medal winning women's track team be recognized, though they stood in line for 3 and 1/2 hours.

Those of use who stand in line do so because we love KU and we love KU basketball, and we don't believe we should steal our place in line, we believe a true fan earns it.. We share stories, we see people standing there who we meet standing their every year.

Mr. Zenger everything you have done since you came to KU has truly impressed me, but this year's Late NIght seriously put that impression into question.

Please do not charge, instead provide adequate security, give out tickets to those standing in line, and check tickets at the door. If it takes more time, then open the doors earlier.

To do anything less is to make a mockery of this truly wonderful tradition.

Jayhawk Nation expects more

Rock Chalk Jayhawk

Steve Brown 8 years, 10 months ago

“It’s a shame that some fans didn’t follow protocol and ruined the experience for others, again, we’ll do our best to improve,” @KUAthletics tweeted.

It's a shame KUAD doesn't take responsibility for their failure in this event. It was a ton different when we stood at the AFH north doors in line for freshman ball games during Owen's day, yet we managed most of the crowd control except the days the staff opened the East doors 12 minutes before the north doors where most of us 'early' line sitters were camped, then we had issues. Have 2 late nights, one at Sporting Park for families and a 2nd one the Friday following at AFH for drunken students. I like the guy that offered do it after the football game at Memorial and don't let folks back in after leaving. 55,000 for late night, sweet.

Evan Bilyeu 8 years, 10 months ago

We as KU fans are lucky nothing happened, the security wasn't even checking bags! That is so unsafe. I was among some that waited in line and saw the bum rushing. There was even students that camped that didn't get in, ridiculous.

jayhawkliz 8 years, 10 months ago

There is no excuse for bad manners. The people cutting in line are the ones to blame, period. But with that said anytime there is a event like this there should be security, you never know when a nut case decides to act. To bad this had to happen....feel bad for the kids that were waiting.

Bradly Moore 8 years, 10 months ago

I don't feel sorry for any of the people that didn't get in. Let the students go. You had your chance to go when you were in school. Grow up. Who wants to wait in line all day to watch a glorified practice anyway? It was on TV.

Erin England 8 years, 10 months ago

I do feel sorry for some who didn't get in. I had little kids in my family that were so sad because some people were selfish. I was a student once and had no problem going to Late Night and no problem going to any basketball game I wanted to see. Students already have a huge advantage over the general public so I disagree that students should have first priority. Like others have said there are people in the community where Late Night is their only opportunity to watch KU basketball in AFH.

pepper_bar 8 years, 10 months ago

Cedarhawk, Self makes about $4,000,000 a year. Do you think students pay his salary? Do you think students own the basketball program?

Adam Lafferty 8 years, 10 months ago

My sister and I were in that crowd at the north entrance. We had to link arms as we were being pushed inside. She got her foot caught in the gate that the fans had knocked over getting in the doors. I'm surprised there weren't any reports of injuries, especially at an event that people bring their kids to.

I remember last year was more orderly. What happened? Scheduling? Security? Fan behavior? Whichever is at fault, and maybe it's all three, surely we can do better than this.

jgkojak 8 years, 10 months ago


Access to AFH? What about fan safety?

We're lucky no one was hurt - there was NO ONE protecting the handicapped entrance, no one outside managing the lines. How hard would it have been to hand out tickets at 4pm to those waiting in line and then set up a "no ticket": entrance for those who did not wait all day?

Blaming the fans is utterly classless.

optimist 8 years, 10 months ago

Charge $1 for kids under 12, $3 for adults and $2 for students. Limit the number of tickets available in a single purchase to 8 and sell them online and/or at the ticket office. They will sell out in one day and prevent something like this from ever happening again. Because it has always been free donate 100% of the proceeds, less the actual costs of implementing the ticket purchase program, to local charities. It is a shame that it has come to this but now that this has happened the University can't risk a repeat that could be worse next year. They would have to share some responsibility the next time now that they are aware of the potential for disruptive behavior.

harv89 8 years, 10 months ago

Let's call it what it is 1) Morals have been trampled on by a morally bankrupt society for two generations 2) Belief in God has been spit upon by our professors at Kansas University for more than 4 generations. People this country has a problem and it's not some line cutters that make some people who fein moral indignation when the fight against all types of morals being taught in schools, 10 commandments being placed out in front of courthouses or Elementary Schools no longer able to have Christmas programs. Are we really surprised when the constant and fervent fight against any belief system would lead to public displays of lower morality and disdain for civic rules. Get ready America you got what you wanted.

Those to blame. 1) Kansas University for not having crowd control outside. No doubt about this. 2) The crowd

Commenting has been disabled for this item.