Krzyzewski raises questions about security at games - WNCN: News, Weather

Krzyzewski raises questions about security at games

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

Fans for the University of Virginia stormed the court Thursday night after their teams win in Charlottesville over Duke, prompting a sharp response from Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski.

"Whatever you're doing, you need to get the team off first," Krzyzewski said after the game, according to the Herald-Sun of Durham. "Look, celebrate, have fun, obviously you won, that's cool."

Herald-Sun beat reporter Steve Wiseman will appear on WNCN's 7 p.m. newscast to discuss the issue Friday night

Krzyzewski said he was concerned about a fan taunting a coach or player after the game.

"What do you do? What if you did something? That would be the story," he said. "We deserve that type of protection."

Duke has lost four games on the road this year, and each time - at N.C. State, at Maryland, at Miami and at Virginia - the opposing team stormed the court.

At N.C. State, student Will Privette was knocked over and his wheelchair damaged when Wolfpack fans stormed the court after a win over a Duke team that was No. 1 at the time. State player C.J. Leslie famously picked up Privette and then celebrated with him.

N.C. State assistant athletic director for communications Annabelle Myers said someone from the Wake County Sheriff's Office is assigned to the visiting coach at all games at PNC Arena. She also said the visiting team can exit directly from its bench to the locker room area without having to cross the court, which helps.

At UNC, officials in yellow jackets create a tunnel in front of the scorer's table, with police at each end. At the end of close, intense games, both teams exit the same way, so the visitors don't have to cross the court. UNC coach Roy Williams get two escorts each game and the visiting coach - with one exception - gets one. Duke's Krzyzewski gets two escorts when the Blue Devils play in Chapel Hill.

The issue of rushing the floor, and security, has been around for years and includes some of the ACC's more memorable moments. North Carolina fans stormed the floor in 1992, and a bloody Eric Montross weaved through the crowd, after the Tar Heels knocked off a Duke team that eventually won the NCAA title.

Duke fans aren't known for storming the court at Cameron Indoor Stadium. One Duke official said he could only remember it happening once in the last 12 years, and that was after Sean Dockery's desperate shot beat Virginia Tech at the buzzer in 2005.

But beyond that one time, it has happened.

About 100 Duke fans did rush the floor after the Devils broke a four-game home losing streak with a victory over No. 18 Georgia Tech in 1995. That was the year Krzyzewski was out with a back injury.

In 1998, No. 1 Duke stormed back to beat No. 3 UNC 77-75 and, the Duke Chronicle reported, "bedlam erupted, with hordes of fans rushing the court."

Long-time North Carolina coach Dean Smith had his players leave the court immediately and go straight to the locker room, rather than stay around and shake hands.

The SEC doesn't allow storming the court, and can fine the school $5,000 the first time it happens, and the fine goes up from there. In 2010, the SEC fined University of South Carolina $25,000 after Gamecock fans stormed the court after beating No. 1 Kentucky.

But some wonder if rushing the court has become too common-place. USA Today pointed out that California fans rushed the court after beating Oregon for the ninth straight time this year, and that Wake Forest fans rushed the floor after beating No. 19 N.C. State.

Other ACC games this season in which home fans rushed the court after a win included Maryland's home win over N.C. State and Miami's win over Michigan.

WNCN's Pat Shehan contributed to this report.

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