‘Once They’re on the Court, Don’t Let Them Off’: ESPN’s Jay Bilas Suggests Arresting Fans Who Storm the Court

during their game at John Paul Jones Arena on February 27, 2016 in Charlottesville, Virgin
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

ESPN analyst and former Duke player Jay Bilas slammed fans for storming the court after a Blue Devils player was injured Saturday and insisted that fans should be punished for the act.

Bilas was part of ESPN’s First Take, where he told the show’s hosts that courtstorming needs to be stopped, Fox News reported.

During the incident Saturday, Blue Devils player Kyle Filipowski suffered a sprained ankle when a fan slammed into him during the court storming.

“The truth is nothing’s going to change now,” he said, lamenting the fact that officials just stand by and let the fans swarm the court.

“We’re going to talk about it. It’s going to go away, and nothing’s going to change. And if they wanted to stop it, they could stop it tomorrow, Bilas exclaimed.

College basketball analyst Jay Bilas looks on during a college basketball game between the Virginia Cavaliers and the California Golden Bears at John...

College basketball analyst Jay Bilas looks on during a college basketball game between the Virginia Cavaliers and the California Golden Bears at John Paul Jones Arena on December 22, 2015, in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Bilas added that schools are told that trying to stop the storming is a bad idea. “The administrations will tell you the security experts tell them that it’s not a good idea to try to stop the court-storming because that could cause more problems than it would solve,” he said.

But he had a solution to stop it, anyway.

“But you don’t have to stop the court storming. One time, all you have to do is, once they’re on the court, don’t let them off. Just say, ‘You’re all detained,’ and give them all citations, or arrest them if you want to. And then court stormings will stop the next day,” he insisted.

Bilas also pointed out that broadcast networks also share some blame for fans swarming the playing surface.

“Years ago, when fans would run out on the field or the court during a game, it was network policy not to show that because we didn’t want to encourage it,” he explained. “So what does that say about the way we in the media use these images now? We can’t deny that we encourage it or at least tacitly approve of it.”

“Everyone has to accept some responsibility for this. I don’t think it’s the right thing to allow this, but I know that it’s gonna continue. This is not going to stop,” he concluded.

After Filipowski was hurt by a courtstorming fan, Duke coach Jon Scheyer called for college basketball to put an end to courtstorming.

“When are we going to ban court storming? When are we going to ban that? How many times does a player have to get into something where they get punched, or they get pushed, or they get taunted, right in their face? It’s a dangerous thing,” Scheyer said.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston, or Truth Social @WarnerToddHuston


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.