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Legislating Against Stupidity

A lot has been written as of late concerning “storming the court” and when this mad dash to dance on the hardwood is appropriate. While this debate is concededly useless, I’m still going to try to define when “storming the court” is reasonable.

My initial concept for this essay was to construct a Ten Commandments-style decree which would define when a student section may run onto the court and cause unmitigated property damage. While a satire of religion, writing in this style provided a scope that was far too finite for this issue. Essentially, I could not create a framework that would consider almost every contingency associated with rushing the floor.

What I ended up piecing together is a regulation indicative of the Internal Revenue Code or the Uniform Commercial Code. I figure that this was the best way to approach the problem as the framework is malleable and it can, consequently, provide guidance on and regulation of most factual circumstances.



Chapter 1: Fan Behavior
Part A: Men’s Basketball
Section 1: Storming the Court

[Sec. 1(a)]
    (a) GENERAL RULE: A college or university student section may rush the basketball court following a noteworthy home victory.
[Sec. 1(b)]
      (1) Subsection (a) shall not apply when a victory has been secured with more than two (2) minutes remaining in regulation or overtime.
[Sec. 1(c)]
        (A) A noteworthy home victory constitutes one of the following:
          (i) An upset victory over an established rival;
          (ii) An upset victory by a college or university not currently in a power conference over a college or university currently in a power conference; or
          (iii) A victory by a college or university not currently in a power conference securing a bid to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
        (A) The following six conferences constitute power conferences:
          (i) Atlantic Coast Conference;
          (ii) Big East Conference;
          (iii) Big Ten Conference;
          (iv) Big Twelve Conference;
          (v) Pacific Ten Conference; and
          (vi) Southeastern Conference.
        (A) A victory will be considered an upset only if:
          (i) The home team is not favored on the daily betting line;
          (ii) A majority of experts have determined that the home team will not defeat the home team’s opponent;
          (iii) The home team is not ranked within the nation’s top twenty-five teams as determined by the ESPN/USA Today and Associated Press polls; and
          (iv) The home team’s opponent is ranked securely within the nation’s top ten teams as determined by the ESPN/USA Today and Associated Press polls.
      (4) EXPERT
        (A) An expert includes, but is not limited to:
          (i) Television analysts;
          (ii) Radio personalities or analysts;
          (iii) Newspaper columnists;
          (iv) Coaches; or
          (v) Scouts.
        (B) Exception
          (i) Television analyst and glorified windbag Dick Vitale is not considered an expert for this section’s purposes because his knowledge of the college basketball universe is limited to Durham, North Carolina.
        (A) A home team’s opponent will be considered an established rival if:
          (i) The home team’s opponent is a member of the same basketball conference as the home team; or
          (ii) The home team’s opponent is:
            (I) A yearly feature on the home team’s basketball schedule, regardless of conference affiliation; and
            (II) There is a long, recognized history between the two colleges or universities.
    I think this regulation lays out the parameters for rushing the court pretty well. Through a structure that imposes limited, yet appropriate restrictions on student sections rushing the court, the character, novelty, and passion of college basketball is sufficiently protected while admonishing questionable stormings.

    With regard to specific aspects of the regulation itself, appearances should not be deceiving. While there is only one enumerated exception – section 1(b)(1) – that does not mean that the general rule provided in section 1(a) is not without dedicated restriction. The definitions of “noteworthy home victory” and “upset victory” create a series of limitations which operate in much the same way as an enumerated exception. Thus, if circumstances do not fall within the definition of a “noteworthy home victory” or any of the other pertinent definitions, a student section will not have the chance to revel under section 1(a).

    The only gap that I see currently in this regulation is situations such as follows:

    Syracuse, unranked and far out of the view of “also receiving votes,” faces Duke in the Carrier Dome. Mike Krzyzsewski’s charges are currently ranked number one on the nation, are unbeaten, and are far and away considered the class of college basketball.

    For thirty-nine minutes and five seconds, the game is nip and tuck, with neither team leading by more than four points. With five seconds remaining and the Orange down two following a Player X bucket for Duke, Syracuse in-bounds the ball to Player Y. He rushes to half court, heaves up a prayer, and the buzzer sounds as the ball is in flight. The ball caroms of the backboard and finds its way to the bottom of the nylon.

    Under section 1 of Matt Glaude’s Law of Stupid Things Associated With Collegiate Athletics, however, the student section will have to celebrate in the stands because this does not qualify as a noteworthy home victory as it is not within the ambit of victories considered in section 1(c)(1)(i).

    Personally, I don’t think that this is a problem for a number of reasons. First, storming the court is an event that is supposed to be special. That’s why it is reserved for conference opponents or the other events listed in the definitions. In the above example, beating Duke is nice, but doesn’t have the same implications as knocking off Georgetown or Connecticut. Consequently, the fact that this gap exists is not the death knell for the regulation.

    Second, the gap does not affect smaller programs that are traditionally at a disadvantage against its power conferences foes. To close this gap would be to reward power programs for playing poorly all season and then piecing together a respectable game against a good opponent. That is not the purpose of a court storming. The purpose of a court storming is to express excitement over a game that never should have gone in the home team’s favor. Syracuse should beat a number one ranked Duke; Quinnipiac should not. Thus, the exceptions work properly.

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