Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Self, Zenger address court-storming incident

KU coach credits Bruce Weber for trying to help him exit court

Kansas forward Perry Ellis and Kansas guard Brannen Greene try to move to the sidelines as Kansas State fans rush the court following the Jayhawks' 70-63 loss to the Wildcats, Monday, Feb. 23, 2015 at Bramlage Coliseum.

Kansas forward Perry Ellis and Kansas guard Brannen Greene try to move to the sidelines as Kansas State fans rush the court following the Jayhawks' 70-63 loss to the Wildcats, Monday, Feb. 23, 2015 at Bramlage Coliseum.


Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self was pinned against the Bramlage Coliseum scorer’s table by a mob of Kansas State students, opposing coach Bruce Weber shoving folks out of the way to help his counterpart to safety.

Jayhawk junior forward Jamari Traylor was charged into — and knocked several steps to his left — by a KSU fan under the south goal.

In addition, KU junior forward Perry Ellis was allegedly taunted and flashed an obscene gesture by another Wildcat supporter as thousands of fans stormed the court following KSU’s 70-63 win over KU on Monday night. That particular fan was shoved and flung away from the KU bench by assistant coach Kurtis Townsend.

“It’s been a bad day for Kansas State ... I’m not going to be one to pile on,” KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger said Tuesday on the Jayhawk Sports Weekly radio show, his word the last during a day in which KSU AD John Currie apologized to Jayhawk nation in a lengthy statement, the Big 12 indicated it was looking into the matter and KSU police asked fans for help in identifying the student who hit Traylor (mission accomplished as by the end of Tuesday the repentant student wrote a letter of apology to KSU’s student newspaper).

“Our top priority is the security and safety of our coaches and our student-athletes. Last night that was at risk. We believe that’s being addressed,” added Zenger, who said he spent “most of the day on the phone with Big 12 officials and the Kansas State administration and feel satisfied that this time next year this shouldn’t be a concern.”

Zenger said there would be further conversations between the schools and with the Big 12 “between now and next year.”

“For me, it’s about the University of Kansas. It’s about our student-athletes and coaches. That basketball team is our pride and joy. I have to stop short before I would get too dramatic or intense. We deserve, every team deserves and expects a certain kind of treatment when you are on the road. We feel we provide that. We ask that of others. You never know what can happen in your own house, your turf (but) we take great pride in Allen Fieldhouse, our students, our fans, the way they comport themselves.”

As far as Townsend being shown on tape flinging a KSU student out of the way, the KU aide asked the Journal-World to speak with associate AD Jim Marchiony about the matter, saying only that he was trying to protect KU’s players.

“Kurtis was appropriately attempting to protect KU players from a fan who appeared to be approaching several of our players,” Marchiony told the J-W. “The safety of our players was our No. 1 concern last night. And one fan had already deliberately body-checked Jamari Traylor. Kudos to our players for keeping their cool.”

Marchiony was asked about Townsend allegedly putting “a headlock” on the student.

“Calling it a headlock is a real stretch considering he had his hand on the fan for all of about two seconds,” Marchiony said.

Meanwhile, Self on his Hawk Talk radio show repeated many of the sentiments that he shared with the media after Monday’s game.

“Obviously there were actions taken by some rambunctious students or whoever they were that could have escalated into something much worse, but in no way is that a reflection of their basketball team and their performance last night. ... Whatever way it is handled, there should be some safety precautions taken to make sure the players are safe. For whatever reason, that slipped through the cracks last night,” Self said.

“I think the story is that there’s got to be something in place from a security standpoint or game-day-management-type standpoint to make sure that the players from the opposing teams aren’t stormed. You shouldn’t do it (storm) at their players or at their bench. That was a situation last night that could have obviously gone really south,” added Self, thankful nobody was hurt.

Self credited KSU coach Weber for trying to help Self get away from the scorer’s table, where Self was stuck for a few moments.

“Bruce actually did a nice job trying to keep people off us,” Self said. “There’s no problem there. Looking back in hindsight, I usually in situations like that would call time out, just tell everybody to come stand by the bench (as final seconds on clock expired).

“There were seven seconds left. I told our players on the bench to make sure they just stay here and just exit. They did a good job with that. There were a couple players on our bench area that actually had some fans come to them. Jamari (Traylor) got hit. Everybody’s seen it (on video). He got hit, but it didn’t hurt him.

“Mari’s got a temper. I thought he handled it perfectly,” Self added. “We were down from losing the game. We weren’t trying to do anything else.

“I thought our players handled it well. K-State ... I know they were apologetic. I did not see Bruce after the game. I know he made an attempt to come and make sure everything was OK, which is what he should do. And it was classy to do that. It shouldn’t take away from the game, although it has in some people’s mind. In my mind, that’s over. I’m more concerned how do we play better?”

As for statements made during the day, the student who ran into Traylor identified himself as Nathan Power and wrote in the Collegian newspaper: “I want to take this moment to share a sincere apology in breaking from the Wildcat way and stepping outside what is acceptable in the spirit of the game. Following the basketball game I simply let my emotions get the best of me in all of the chaos. In my excitement I was not careful of the people I was around. I am sorry that I made the KU basketball team — Jamari Traylor in particular—feel disrespected. By no means can I change what took place but in the future I will be aware of how emotions can impact good judgment.”

The Big 12 wrote: “The Big 12 Conference office and the two schools are reviewing the postgame celebration that occurred at the conclusion of last night’s Kansas at Kansas State game. In accordance with Conference policy, home team game management is responsible for the implementation of protocols to provide for the safety of all game participants, officials and fans.”

And part of what Currie wrote: “K-State prides itself on providing a great game atmosphere in a safe environment and did successfully execute our security plan when we defeated KU last year in Bramlage as well as in 2011. Although no one was hurt last night, we fell short of our expectations for securing the court and escorting KU to its locker room without incident. We are disappointed that we did not do better for the KU team.

“We are reviewing our procedures internally and consulting with our law enforcement partners to determine any steps necessary to improve our gameday security.”

In related news, the young man who bumped Traylor came forward with an apology letter in the K-State Collegian.


Aaron Paisley 7 years, 2 months ago

Glad Jamari kept his cool, it was an ugly situation and I will be shocked and disappointed if the Big 12 doesn't put in similar rules to what the SEC has in regards to rushing the court/field.

Bryce Landon 7 years, 2 months ago

I'll be disappointed, but not shocked, if the Big 12 doesn't come down hard. Remember, the Big 12 is more concerned with creating a favorable environment for Longhorn football to thrive than with player-fan safety in Sunflower Showdown games in Bramlage Coliseum.

Bryce Landon 7 years, 2 months ago

By the way, if Jamari has a temper, he should show it toward his teammates. And by that I mean he needs to get in their faces and challenge them to step their games up and do a better job of handling their business.

Benz Junque 7 years, 2 months ago

Considering he is playing pretty terrible himself, getting on his teammates for poor play may not be a great idea.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 2 months ago

Nice post Aaron. You should read some of the comments made by KSU fans on the above tweet. They would be funny if not for being so sad. Most of their fan base backs the KSUManhatter and goes after coach Townsend.

Jim Roth 7 years, 2 months ago

"they knew ahead of time what would happen if they won"

Maybe they just assumed they would lose.....again.

Benz Junque 7 years, 2 months ago

The only K-State security I saw was standing in a half circle trying to keep students from stealing the net off the basket. K-State was more concerned with guarding their property than keeping the visitors safe. Ridiculous.

Anyways, I'd be surprised if the Big 12 does anything about this because it is only a problem for Kansas. Do fan bases rush the court when they beat anyone else in the conference?

Bryce Landon 7 years, 2 months ago

We can say what we want about Bruce Weber and the frosty relationship he and Bill Self have had ever since Weber replaced Self at Illinois in 2003; but after last night, we can't call Weber classless. His actions being a human shield to protect Self saved him from injury or even death. For that, we KU fans should Weber a little more respect than we have over the last 12 years.

Tom Jones 7 years, 2 months ago

He's still an insecure and often classless dude. He routinely throws players under the bus and of course there's the whole "Bill Self funeral" thing.

But yes, good job playing security guard, there, Squeaky.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 2 months ago

Didn' Coach Weber show a video of the fans storming the court last year prior to the game? I realize he was trying to motivate his players but it looks like they weren't the only ones motivated.

I get what you're saying Bryce but one good act surely doesn't erase all the poor choices in the past

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 2 months ago

It does show though that when push comes to shove, Weber and his players did the right thing and deserve credit for doing so.

Titus Canby 7 years, 2 months ago

Anyone remember the late 70s and early 80s? K-State developed quite the national reputation because riots broke out in Aggieville every time they won a football game. I witnessed one of them first hand. Scary stuff.

Looks like the current students learned from their parents.

Given that, I agree 100% with Coach Self. It doesn't happen if we win the game.

Micky Baker 7 years, 2 months ago

Titus, it happened in the 1990s where they burnt a couple of stores up in Aggieville.

Bryce Landon 7 years, 2 months ago

Oh boy, you know it's bad when Jim Rome talks about it. He would NEVER talk about a KU-KSU game otherwise.

Michael Lorraine 7 years, 2 months ago

He had to confess. Nick Krug caught him with his hand in the cookie jar.

Martin Rosenblum 7 years, 2 months ago

Remember when the KSU fans used to throw trash out on the court when they played KU at home? Well, you can finish my thought I'm sure.

Steve Corder 7 years, 2 months ago

When was the last time AllenFieldhouse fans stormed the court after a KU win over......any Big12 team? KU gets beat on their opponents home floor and fans storm the court. What an honor!

Glen Miller 7 years, 2 months ago

There was no last time. From all that I have read and found, KU fans have only stormed the court one time......... After a National Championship win. Now that, I can understand.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 2 months ago

A serious question for those of you who think what happened at the end of the game wasn't a big deal.

Are you claiming it's not a big deal because Jamari and Perry didn't react to what happened to getting checked and taunted or are you claiming it's not a big deal because you have no issues with fans shoulder checking opposing players and aggressively taunting opposing players by flipping them off in their faces?

Here's why it's a big deal to me. I know most people here don't care about NASCAR, but this past weekend, one of their biggest stars, Kyle Busch, suffered a broken left foot and compound fracture in his right tibia from an accident where his car hit an unprotected concrete wall. After Dale Earnhardt was killed on the same track in 2001, NASCAR began requiring sanctioned tracks to install SAFER barriers (steel with foam behind the steel to absorb the impact) around the tracks in spots where cars were likely to make impacts with the walls. This was done to prevent further deaths and injuries. Kyle Busch hit a spot on the wall that wasn't protected and now he will miss a significant amount time because of it. Track officials said they would install the SAFER barriers around the entire track before the next race there in July.

Why do I bring this up? Because NASCAR has always been reactive instead of proactive when it comes to safety and now they've lost one of their bigger names for a big chunk of the season because of this. Being reactive about safety ALWAYS means a big deal happened to cause the reaction.

Nothing happened with Jamari and the other players being taunted which is a good thing and why KSU fans are saying no big deal. Waiting for the "big deal" to happen and then making rules changes will only end in a school being sued the day a player does retaliate to a fan taunted or bumping them. The Big 12 needs to be proactive and make policies to get fans to quit rushing the court/field before the "big deal" happens and a school gets more bad PR than it ever wants. Escalating fines for each time a school's fans rush the court/field like the SEC does is a good step and something that has been pretty effective. Also, make the money for the fines come from the student fees. When the kids actually start paying those fines, they will quit rushing the court/field in a hurry.

Bill Horton 7 years, 2 months ago

The only acceptable apology is for Master Power to come to Lawrence and look Jamari in the eyes, something he wasn't man enough to do on Monday night. Posting on a K-State friendly site in lawyer-speak is not an apology.

John Strayer 7 years, 2 months ago

His apology is piss poor...typical of today's society...I'm sorry I made you feel bad...good grief...take responsibility for your actions and stop at that point.

Cody Riedy 7 years, 2 months ago

I wonder if what is being said behind the scenes is more harsh than the public statements by Self and Zenger, because it does seem they are going out of their way to be civil in their comments. I suppose I'd prefer them to take this tack than look reactionary and whiny in public, but I definitely hope that behind the scenes conversation among "league officials" is more aggressive.

Zenger mentioned in his comments that KU has always provided a safe environment. I wish he would have followed after K-ST AD Currie's comments and been sure to mention how many times KU has beat K-State and provided a safe environment "KU has provided a safe environment all 500 times we've beat K-State."

Ron Prichard 7 years, 2 months ago

Brett, if you go a little beyond just the quotes in this article, it is clear Zenger is angry and is not going to let this slide. He has stated publicly that he is not going to pile on KSU. However, when asked if he thought the statements and apology by KSU and the AD following last night were sufficient, he would only say that sufficient conversations have taken place between the schools and the Big 12. He was asked again and said the same thing. I'm probably not doing the quote justice, but he is clearly ticked, and I think behind the scenes he is pushing the issue, but publicly he is taking the high road. I think you can also get that sense in his statement that next year this shouldn't be a concern.

This is a bigger deal than what some people are trying to make it out to be, and there will be changes. I think it is great that Zenger is doing most of the work behind the scenes and not publicly crying about it, which would bring down all sorts of criticism on himself, and KU as well.

Roy Scherff 7 years, 2 months ago

It seems to me that the Big 12 conference forcing K State to forfeit the game as a penalty for their fans immaturity would solve every college sports venue court storming problems for ever.

Jay Reynolds 7 years, 2 months ago

Sounds like Nathan Power spent the better part of Tuesday getting himself a lawyer.

Jim Poage 7 years, 2 months ago

For those of you who are too young to remember why we hate Mizzou, take a look at this web-site: That same year the crowd is Columbia beat up some of our bandmembers when we beat them in football.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 2 months ago

Well...that's against Mizzou. Kansas and Missouri have been fighting each other, in everything, since the Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed in 1854.

Cody Riedy 7 years, 2 months ago

I really hope we get to play K-State again in the BigXII tournament and I hope our guys do to. There has to be real action addressing this off the court, but KU delivering an a**-whooping on the court one more time before the season is over would be nice.

Len Shaffer 7 years, 2 months ago

And one of the best things about it is that it would eliminate the kitties' chances of even making it to the NIT.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 2 months ago

It seems to me that the hyperbolic rhetoric on all this is getting out of hand.

Nobody got hurt and court-storming has been going of for a long time. The NCAA/ADs/Coaches should treat lightly when taking measures to curb local fan enthusiasm.

Anyone want to return to the old Naismith days when the court was protected by ...chicken wire? Instead of the wire netting, the court could be enclosed with a 6 foot plexiglas barrier, somewhat like hockey games.

Benz Junque 7 years, 2 months ago

Calls of fear of "if this then what's next" is a typical argument about things like this and serve no true purpose. When people argued that women should be allowed to vote I am 100% sure someone was standing around saying "what's next, giving black people the right to vote as well?!?"

Progressing away from people running around like idiots isn't a bad thing. This notion that getting rid of court storming is going to lessen the fan experience is silly. Do you really think a KSU fan would have left that arena saying that he didn't enjoy attending the game and watching his team beat Top 10 Kansas because he wasn't allowed to run around on the floor afterwards?

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 2 months ago

Winning would be a great idea!

When you are / have been the big guy on the block and get beaten by the underdogs, those underdogs can get out of hand. We have not gotten to the point of Romans v Aleric-Goths, when the underdog Visigoths won and stormed the Roman "home-court".

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 2 months ago

I wouldn't say cowardly at all. Perhaps a bit trite or in jest.

Ron Prichard 7 years, 2 months ago

Suzi, I'm curious if your opinion would be different if Jamari had stumbled and blown out his knee when the fan knocked into him? You are also aware of the high school kid that severed his artery and had a severe stroke during a court storming? Coincidentally, he was the kid that hit the game winning shot. He is still relearning how to walk and function.

Bob Dietz 7 years, 2 months ago

This type of behavior is in a mildcat fan's genetics. These are probably the sons and daughters or grandsons and granddaughters of the KSU fans that used to dress up in gorilla suits and throw bananas at Donnie VonMoore. So just consider the background of some of those who stormed the court Monday night and really, it's something that should be expected.

Ron Prichard 7 years, 2 months ago

I think the biggest problem with the KSU court storming was the fact that the fans rushed to the players. Usually, the players run to mid court. However, at KSU, the players rush to the scorers table to stand on it. I think that started a few years ago when Beasley jumped up on the scorers table, but I'm not completely sure. For whatever reason, that has continued. Each time KSU beats KU, the players jump up on the scorers table. If you noticed Monday night, pretty much the entire team was up on the table, and the fans rushed right to the players. If the celebration had been at mid court, some of the problems wouldn't have happened. That being said, something else needs to be done because some fans still made beelines for the KU players (Jamari, etc.).

Bob Bailey 7 years, 2 months ago

Maryland beat Wisc at home last night (Coach played guard at KU). The fans stormed the court across the court from the benches. Security was there in full force to escort all players and coaches off the floor.

Larry Myers 7 years, 2 months ago

I think the schools and/or league needs to address the role of the media in this incident. Brent Musburger, at about the three minute mark, started talking about the students storming the court. As the time ran down he got close to being “giddy" with anticipation. He correctly announced what was going to happen. Ron mention Beasley getting on the scorer’s table a few years back. Last year, Holly Rowe, in addition to a player, was on the scorer’s table “getting the story”. This year where did the players go? To the scorer’s table and 3 to 5 got on top of it. Where did the crowd go? To the scorer’s table. Where was Holly? On the scorer’s table, with the players “getting the story”. I think she needs to take more responsibility to act professionally and to “get the story” in a safe manner and in a safe place. In addition to not being at center court or at either end of the court where it is safer, I don’t know how much weight the scorer’s table is designed to hold but five players and one reporter may be stretching the limit.

Terry N Tom Denner 7 years, 2 months ago

All that got on the scores table should be suspended for their last game and the Big12 tourny plus 7 more the starting of next season. The idiot that ran into Traylor with force should be charged with a assault charge & banned from ALL sports events for the duration of his time in school. Plus I also feel the NCAA needs to fine KST 50 grand and strip them of the win. And yes I would feel the same way if any other teams did the same thing.

Ryan Shelton 7 years, 2 months ago

This kind of behavior from KSU fans is not new.

Remember when Rex Walters was hit in the head by a quarter thrown by a KSU fan? Rex had a classic quote afterwards about wishing he would have picked it up because he could use a quarter.

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 2 months ago

Nathan Power(puff). Classic Purple pussy(cat).

Here's how you expose a pussy: Have someone of equal weight as Mr. Nathan, bum rush him from behind at the same speed and lead with the elbow, just like he did to Jamari, and let's see his crybaby reaction.

My point here is that Jamari Traylor really showed model restraint. He should never have to be in such a situation in Div.1 sports. Same as Thomas Robinson showed restraint in that game @ Cal, where the Gutierrez punk shoved his elbow into Robinson's throat. Same game that Marcus got ejected after he reacted to getting karate-chopped between the shoulder blades.

Laughing like a hyena, because ONLY KStater's would be so stupid as to actually 1-up Melvin Weathermax!!!!! In their moment of victory, they found a way to still invite scorn and ridicule. Go ahead and "emawww"(dying goat noise) some more, purple idiots, making all Kansans look bad with your behavior on natl TV. Party hard in Aggieville, so as to drown your sorrows about still being sub-.500!!!!!!!!!! SO sad, the ugly (on natl TV) step-sister not going to the Dance.

If anybody wants to watch Wildcat excellence, this Kansan will tune in to the KY Wildcats. Oh, and let me twist the dagger a bit: Snyder doesnt know what a 5star recruit is, eventhough he keeps losing to teams well-stocked with them (Auburn in Manhattan), as clearly, Snyder is no Nick Saban or Urban Meyer. Nothing but fact after fact after fact. Like the fact that nobody outside of KS, nor even 2/3rds of the people in KS care about KState.

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 2 months ago

Lets put this yet another way: KStaters are too stupid to learn from the example of a true rivalry like Duke vs. UNC. First, those fans would NEVER storm the court. Nor would they ever physically push Coach K or Roy Williams.

You KStaters proved your stupidity on natl TV. Now face the music. Man-up, oh, you cant, since its Manlesshattan, as Nathan Power proved (cheap shot from behind). Nope, no man in little apple since Frank Martin left town. KSucks, doesnt it?

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