After Cavelier fans rushed the court following their team’s victory over Duke, Duke’s coach spoke out about the potential risk of personal injury during such celebrations. This incident represented the eighth time that a court was stormed in an ACC home game this year. Duke’s coach argued that a dangerous situation could arise when players, coaches and fans are all pushed together. These comments reflect an argument made last year by the University of North Carolina’s head coach when he removed most of his team from the court before the end of a big loss.
Reviews of security footage show the difficult time that Duke players and coaches had in exiting the court. A security team of about 24 individuals helped to form a path for the Duke and Virginia players and coaches to shake hands, but when the court was rushed, the security team prevented the Duke players from escaping while more individuals came on to the court. Footage also shows the Duke coach trying to convince a police officer to get his players off the court.
The ACC’s associate commissioner for basketball reported that the organization has had conversations regarding safety concerns and court rushing celebrations before and that new rules may be considered during a conference in the off-season. Currently, there is no rule against storming the court, and each school in the ACC is responsible for security at events. For example, Georgia Tech is responsible for the safety of teams and fans at McCamish Pavillion in Atlanta. Inadequate security during a court rush at this or any other ACC venue could be seen as negligence on the part of the school should someone be injured.
When a person is injured because the owner of the property has neglected the property or allowed dangerous conditions to remain on the premises, he or she may be able to seek compensation. A premises liability lawyer may be able to help a victim in such a case.
Source: Charlotte Observer, “Storming the court is becoming a hazard for ACC basketball,” Joe Giglio, March 3, 2013