Alabama AD Greg Byrne says forfeiting games can stop court storming incidents after Wake Forest-Duke

Add Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne to the list of those outspoken against college basketball's recent court storming trend.

On Saturday, Duke star forward Kyle Filipowski injured his knee after he was caught in a swarm of Wake Forest fans after the Blue Devils were upset by the Demon Deacons, sparking the latest debate about the college basketball tradition.

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Byrne, Alabama's athletic director since 2017, told his idea on how to start court storming to reporters on Monday at the Birmingham Tipoff Club.

He said fans aren't encouraged to stop court storming from schools receiving fines but could be if it means their school receives a disqualification for the incident.

"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 told reporters at the Birmingham Tipoff Club, via ABC 3340. “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 also shared his thoughts on the situation at Duke on Saturday.

"I think the way it will stop that will get everybody's attention and realize this is dangerous is if it's your game and students, who are usually the instigators, right? We love our students," Byrne said. "Then the home team forfeits the game. Now if you have two kids running out there, no. But when you have a sustained rush like what happened the other day at Wake, you lose the game. That will get people to stop."

Before the 2023 season, the SEC changed its protocol for court storming events, first fining the school $100,000 for the first offense, before being fined $250,000 for the second violation and $500,000 for the third. The fines are paid directly to the visiting program. The ACC, by contrast, does not have a penalty for fans storming the court.

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“We had a student manager we thought was gonna lose an eye after a field storm in the last few years,” Byrne said. “He ended up being concussed and the doctors were able to save his eye. We had a doctor, a female doctor, get pushed down and bruised up pretty bad. And something needs to be done about it.”

This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: Greg Byrne says forfeiting games can stop court storming incidents