Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby announced this week that he is taking steps to have the authority to hand down punishments to schools of fans who storm the court after a victory.
While over the last few seasons conferences across the NCAA have taken steps to deter fans from storming the court the Big 12 is potentially taking the punishments a little further. According to the Associated Press Bowlsby may be in the in final stages of implementing a punishment that would allow him to retract future home basketball games from schools who’s fans rush the court.
Much of this stems from the incident last season in Manhattan, Kansas after the Wilidcats upset the Jayhawks. During the storming of the court Jayhawk players and coaches were pinned against the scorers table unable to get off the floor. This led to widespread nation debate as to the safety of athletes and coaches during these instances.
However, this is not the only rule to potentially be implemented by the Big 12 in the near future. There is also “legislature” on the table that would allow the Big 12 to fine schools who’s fans chant excessively and continually use foul language.
While the specifics of this are still unclear what is clear is the Big 12 is trying to clean up any negative perception that may be out there regarding Big 12 fans. What this means is simple, the beloved chants of “Eat S*** Pitt” and the Mountaineer Nation rendition of Sweet Caroline may now be accompanied by a hefty fine that would have to be paid by WVU. The return of the Backyard Brawl now has the potential to cost WVU in the wallet.
Lastly, the Conference is also considering stiff penalties for schools who “excessively” show replays of controversial calls. Penalties will be assessed after being reviewed by the Big 12 office. If a school is penalized for this violation of the sportsmanship policy that school will have 24 hours to appeal the decision. This is sure to bring a negative reaction from fans as it will undoubtedly be seen as a way of protecting game officials.
There were numerous times last season WVU fans became increasingly volatile toward game officials due to perceived no calls such as a the late hit on Clint Trickett against TCU. It would now be considered a violation for a school to show that replay numerous times. It has yet to be determined what would be considered excessive nor has it been determined what the penalties will be for violating this policy.
Bob Bowlsby photo credit Big 12 Conference