Alabama AD suggests forfeits may help deter fans from storming playing field


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University of Alabama athletics director Greg Byrne offered a different approach for schools whose teams storm the court or field after a big upset — go after their win/loss record.

On the heels of Duke star Kyle Filipowski tweaking his ankle as Wake Forest fans stormed the court after the win over the weekend, Byrne suggested Monday that forfeits could be the way to stop the action.

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Greg Byrne in Indiana

Greg Byrne of the University of Alabama works during the Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament Selections held at the Hotel Carmichael on March 8, 2023 in Carmel, Indiana.  (Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

“Kids aren’t going to be in the stands saying, ‘Oh, I don’t want to do this because the school is gonna get fined $200,000,’” Byrne said at the Birmingham Tip Off Club, via AL.com. “That doesn’t enter their mindset. But if they knew the game that they just had been a part of, celebrated a great win that led to that, if they knew that they were going to lose that game immediately, that would stop them.”

Byrne pointed to an incident in which one of the school’s student managers thought they were going to “lose an eye” after being injured in a court-storming.

He said something further needed to be done.

ESPN’S JAY BILAS SUGGESTS SEVERE CONSEQUENCES FOR COURT-STORMING FANS

Tennessee fans at Neyland

Tennessee fans storm the field and celebrate following game vs Alabama at Neyland Stadium. (Carlos M. Saavedra/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

The SEC has rules if fans from schools storm the court. A first-time offense is a $100,000 fine. The second time is a $250,000. A third time comes with a half-million-dollar penalty.

ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips addressed Saturday’s incident after the Duke-Wake Forest game.

“Across college athletics, we have seen far too many of these incidents that put individuals at serious risk, and it will require the cooperation of all — including spectators — to ensure everyone’s well-being,” Phillips said in a statement.

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Wake Forest fans storm

Wake Forest’s Cameron Hildreth (2) drives to the basket as fans storm the court at the end of an NCAA college basketball game against Duke in Winston-Salem, N.C., Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024.  (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

“As a conference, we will continually assess with our schools the best way to protect our student-athletes, coaches, and fans.”

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