I reached out to Sporting News writer Mike DeCourcy today. DeCourcy has been critical of court rushing in the past and he wrote about it on Friday following the New Mexico State/Utah Valley brawl Thursday.
"It used to be common if a player hit a home run in the World Series, fans would run on the field but now that doesn't happen because there is security and players stay on the field and fans stay in the stands where they belong," DeCourcy said. "People say that sports journalists can't be fans but I'm a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Liverpool, etc. I pay money to see them play and when my team wins, I'm thrilled to see them celebrating from the stands. That's what I paid for and I belong in the seat that I paid for."
I interviewed DeCourcy for my story about the Aggies getting national attention for the incident. He said that the decision whether or not to ban students/fans from the court is up to the conference or the institution. The NCAA will not get involved.
"It's not something that the NCAA would do, other than for their own events, where it's hard for media members to even get on the court. It would be an institutional decision," he said.
WAC Commissioner Jeff Hurd said that the league will discuss the issue in May, but didn't say anything would change in Las Vegas at the Orleans Arena, which kind of caught me off guard, considering there is a real possibility the teams could meet in the WAC title game.
Hurd said the issue would be discussed in the days leading up to the tournament with WAC administrators.
"It's too early, but there is a difference between celebrating a win with your team as opposed to the incident when celebrating fans were coming on to the court with opposing players," Hurd said. "We will discuss it in our tournament preview next week."
While NMSU AD McKinley Boston questioned the security measures at Utah Valley, Hurd wouldn't go that far.
"I don't think that's fair to criticize Utah Valley at all," Hurd said. "It just escalated quicker. Utah Valley followed its protocol and I accept that."
Hurd said the difference between K.C. Ross-Miller's two game suspension from the league office and Renaldo Dixon's one game suspension was that the league felt Ross-Miller started the fight when he threw the basketball at Holton Hunsaker, even though Dixon was seen punching a Utah Valley fan.
"The difference in my mind is that Ross-Miller instigated the incident," Hurd said. "The other incident that happened was a result."
What happened shouldn't be a surprise. Athletes in a foreign gym outnumbered by opposing fans frustrated after an overtime loss, perhaps being boxed in in close quarters isn't a good idea. All it can take to set something off could be a student bumping into a player and the player feeling threatened and responded, which was the scenario that the UVU Student paper editor described to me late last night.
"We want players to care, that's what makes it a sport," DeCourcy said. "There is a chance that that passion can lead to something bad, but fans should not be directly adjacent to players."
Boston criticizing UVU is a joke. This would have been nothing more than another court storming by an excited student body if not for the punk-ass move by KCRM, who was recruited to NMSU and mentored for several years by MM, who was hired by Boston. So all the blame for this most embarrassing episode lies squarely on those three clowns, led by Boston.
JG, my guess is the reason Hurd does not think there should be any concern with court storming at the Orleans Arena is because I doubt there will be very many fans there. After all, this is nothing more than the Weak Ass Conference tourney (I stole that from others, but it's appropriate). And we have Boston's leadership to thank for being part of such a pathetic conference. What a sad predicament facing our once proud basketball program.
This the most passion I've seen on the court since MM landed in Las Cruces. Yet embarrassing its the way his teams perform undisciplined and out of control at all times. Always root for the Aggies no matter what sport. MM & BM being influential leaders to head the athletics in the right direction, come on president and governor Carauthers get us on the right tract.
Boston should just keep his mouth shut.
It's NMS that has the nationwide reputation of being thug school and this isn't the first time Aggie basketball has acted like a bunch of street hoodlums, seems like nothing ever changes with that program.
I think Ross-Miller should sit on the the bench the rest of the season!!!!!The offence runs better with Mullings at point guard, at least he can drive to the whole without turning the ball over. Good luck Aggies with a clueless coach like MM and a athletic director BM!!!!!!
RE: "What happened shouldn't be a surprise. Athletes in a foreign gym outnumbered by opposing fans frustrated after an overtime loss, perhaps being boxed in in close quarters isn't a good idea. All it can take to set something off could be a student bumping into a player and the player feeling threatened and responded"
Jason, YOU (along with the NMSU coach and A.D.) are the bigger part of the problem? These childish misbehaving athletes weren't raised properly to respect others and show good sportsmanship, and people like YOU just make excuses for them and don't hold them accountable. You continue treating them like the spoiled selfish brats they are until they become Ron Artest and Dennis Rodman. You are disgusting, you don't love the sport, you don't know anything about it, and you don't know anything about civility or fairness.
Anon, You're still ignorant
you're taking the reports of people who were on the court and told me what they saw as my opinion?
If I ask an NMSU official a question and print their answers, how can you lump me into their responses?
JGroves has always protected Aggie teams and coaches. There is always some lame excuse about how to move on, or lack of hard questions being asked. Starting to wonder if it is true that maybe the media is part of this circus called NMSU basketball.
Fed Up Francisco
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