Whether college basketball fans should be permitted to rush the floor at the final buzzer has been a subject of plenty of conversation the past few weeks.
What's not up for debate is that fans should remain in the stands while the game is still going on.
A knucklehead UC Santa Barbara fan violated that basic rule Thursday night during the first half of the Gauchos' victory over Hawai, sprinting down a flight of stairs, vaulting onto the court and making a beeline for Warriors coach Gib Arnold. Only after Hawaii players shoved him away did the fan retreat back toward the stands, still challenging the players to fight as he back-pedaled.
"I've never seen anything like that in 22 years of coaching and a lot of years of playing," Arnold told Kara Lawson on ESPNU after the game. "It was a little crazy having a fan running and pushing your guys around on the game floor like that. Never seen it. You don't really expect it. A little different."
What Arnold was most upset with was both the lack of security at UCSB and the lack of penalty for the Gauchos. The Hawaii coach tried to get referees to assess a technical foul because of the fan's actions but to no avail.
"I've got to learn the rules," Arnold said wryly. "I can't yell at the refs but I guess it's OK to run out onto the floor."
UCSB did not immediately announce whether the fan would be punished for his actions. Last month, a Texas Tech fan voluntarily agreed not to attend anymore Red Raiders games this season after his taunts led Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart to enter the stands and shove him in the chest.
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- Gib Arnold