Here is a response I wrote to this article that was in the OU Daily yesterday: http://oudaily.com/news/2013/feb/12/rushing_court_column/?c=17060
I sent in a “letter to the editor” and I am hoping they will publish it!
Why court-storm was warranted
Mason Morgan has received much backlash for the column, “Basketball bum rush leaves bad taste in mouth”. I am one of those people who disagrees with what Morgan wrote, and I do not understand why you would disgrace your fans like that.
From reading this article, I also don’t think Morgan really knows much about college basketball. Granted, he is a freshman, so how can he truly understand basketball at OU?
I am a junior at OU, and a huge basketball fan. Being from Kansas, I have grown up around college basketball my whole life. The state of Kansas has been called “basketball country” because its three Division I teams– Kansas, Kansas State and Wichita State are basketball schools. The three schools’ records combined have had only seven losses earlier in the season. Growing up around college hoops, it has become one of my favorite sports. I don’t just follow my favorite teams — Wichita State and Oklahoma — I follow all the top 25 teams and most of the other Division I teams. I truly immerse myself in this sport.
So now, please let me explain to you what went wrong in your article.
First of all, the emotion was clearly there, as I was in the midst of it. The students were definitely feeling it. It was written all over everyone’s faces. Yes, I may have been feeling it more than some students, as I have grown up hating KU basketball, but I truly know what it means to beat a team like KU.
In my opinion, I believe a court-storming is valid when an unranked team beats a top 15 team. A buzzer-beater thriller is a valid reason, too. In the KU game, OU, an unranked team whose basketball program has been suffering in the past years, definitely had that upset win over a top 15 team (KU was ranked No. 5).
These moments don’t come along often (though this year one may argue this). It can be a once-in-a-lifetime moment. You’re not a student forever, so enjoy it while it’s happening.
Second, Kansas is one of college basketball’s most successful programs, with several National Championship titles under their belt. They are a team who has most always dominated the Big 12, so when we beat them it is a big deal. So the fact that Morgan thinks Kansas is an “average” team is appalling. Yeah, maybe they had a stretch of a few bad games, but they whipped up on K-State Monday night in front of their home crowd, so they are still a primetime team.
And just because OU isn’t a basketball school, doesn’t mean there aren’t die-hard basketball fans who go here, or just die-hard sports fans who love the thrill of a big-time game. It’s insulting for Morgan to imply that only football is deserving of the rush-the-field mentality.
Lon Kruger has turned this program around in the last two years, and he is bringing OU basketball back into the spotlight. Beating a top 5 team is a huge step in the right direction for our program.
Also, do you know how many courts have been rushed in the last month, or even in that day (Feb. 9) alone? Four of the top five teams lost that week. Two on that Saturday (No. 3 Michigan and No. 5 Kansas). Three courts were rushed that day (Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Notre Dame all stormed). Beating a top five team warrants enough of a reason to storm a court when the fans are feeling it.
During the final minute of the OU-KU game there was still the possibility that Kansas could come back. The game is not over until the final buzzer sounds. Kansas could have come back, like they had at home against Iowa State and Texas, to win in the final seconds of the game. Just because we were up by five points in the final minute does not mean you write a team like Kansas off. Not to mention the Sooners have struggled to win close games in the past, including several this year.
Note this statement from Morgan’s article, “Secondly, Kansas is now out of the top 10. Did OU fans rush the court after defeating OSU ranked just three spots higher? Of course not.”
Morgan said OSU was ranked three spots higher and that OU did not rush the court after beating them. “Of course not.”
Yes, of course we did not storm the court. Oklahoma State was not even in the AP Top 25 rankings the week of Jan. 7 (Week 10). Oklahoma State played OU in Norman on Saturday, Jan. 12. Clearly, a stormed court was by no means warranted because we weren’t even playing a ranked team. Next time, fact check. (Visit espn.go.com to view rankings by week.)
Finally, the implications Morgan speaks of for storming the court are not well thought out. The voters in the polls are not concerned with how fans and students react or don’t react after the game. That does not affect or penalize us in the polls. The only implications for rushing a court could be personal injury or if our conference fined schools for storming like the SEC does.
Overall, I think Morgan overreacted. OU fans have always been sports fanatics, and will continue to be. It’s not a crime to be passionate about your team, no matter what sport. Show some respect to a team that overcame everyone’s expectations and beat a powerhouse. Come to games, scream and cheer, and rush the court again if a spectacular game (like the OU-KU game) warrants it.