Court stormings are a huge part of college basketball as they give fans the opportunity to celebrate with their team. While they are a fun part of college basketball, court stormings are potentially dangerous due to the close interactions with the opposing players. Recently, an incident happened at the end of the Minnesota-Purdue game that has raised some issues.
After the Golden Gophers upset the No. 11 Purdue Boilermakers, 73-69, a Minnesota fan decided to flip off Purdue center Matt Haarms. The big man was casually leaving the court when the fan ran up to him.
Haarms brushed the guy off as he made his way back to the locker room.
While nothing bad occurred during the court storming, the fan’s decision to taunt could have ended up badly for him. Haarms is 7-foot-3 and weighs around 250 pounds, meaning he could have seriously injured the fan that tried to provoke him. The sophomore big man would also have help from his teammates if anything serious did happen as they are also trying to leave the court peacefully.
Court stormings are incredibly dangerous as the close proximity between opposing players and fans could lead to a brawl on the court. This happened in 2014 when players on New Mexico State got into a brawl with Utah Valley fans.
While the players were provoked by the fans, New Mexico State suspended guard KC Ross-Miller for two games and forward Renaldo Dixon for one game.
Haarms would have faced a similar punishment if he decided to go after the fan.
The sophomore big man is one of the top shot blockers in the Big Ten with 61. His absence would be devastating as a suspension could make him miss part of the Big Ten tournament. If the school decided to suspend Haarms for two games, he would miss the regular season finale against Northwestern and the Big Ten quarterfinals.
Haarms was able to keep his cool when that fan came up to him and will not face any punishment for his actions. The University of Minnesota has not identified the fan in question, but the school should do something to make sure stuff like that does not happen again.