Jay Bilas floats huge punishment for fans who storm court after Duke-Wake Forest incident

Ever since Duke basketball's Kyle Flipowski sustained an injury during Wake Forest's court-storming following its win over the Blue Devils, the discussion it has once again taken center stage in the sports world.

Should it be banned? Should it be allowed? Why does the ACC not have a penalty for it? Etc.

On Monday during two separate appearances on ESPN — "GetUp!" and "First Take" — former Blue Devil and top ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas discussed the matter, saying it shouldn't have happened and if the NCAA and its institutions wanted to stop it from happening, "they could stop it tomorrow."

"It goes back to what I’ve been saying all this time, fans don’t belong on the court. And fans may not want to hear that but it is true," Bilas told "GetUp!" host Mike Greenberg. "It’s really pointless (to talk about) because it is not going to stop. The NCAA doesn’t want it to stop and by the NCAA, I mean the member institutions. They like the visual, they take pictures of it and put it all up throughout their institutions and locker rooms and use it in recruiting."

"And the truth is, the media has to take some accountability here too. We put it on TV at the end of every highlight. We tacitly encourage it."

On Monday, Blue Devils coach Jon Scheyer said "the ACC needs to do something" about the incident. As it is the conference doesn't have repercussion measures for court-storming's like other Power Five conferences. But even for those conferences that do have fines if it happens, Bilas said schools don't mind paying it and continue allowing it to happen, referencing the University of South Carolina's President Emeritus, Harris Pastides, running onto the court after the Gamecocks took down Kentucky last month and later posting it on social media.

“All these institutions say, ‘We’re happy to pay the fine.’ They’re happy to pay the fine for that visual," Bilias said.

Jay Bilas speaks during ESPN's 'College GameDay' broadcast at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tennessee on Jan. 28, 2023.
Jay Bilas speaks during ESPN's 'College GameDay' broadcast at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tennessee on Jan. 28, 2023.

Bilas then appeared on ESPN's "First Take" later Monday discussing the matter further with Stephen A. Smith and Shannon Sharpe and reiterated a solution to the matter as a whole, one that he mentioned earlier that morning on the network to Greenberg.

"The administrators will tell you that security experts tell them that it is not a good idea to stop the court storming and that it will cause more problems than it would solve," Bilas said. "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."

This isn't the first time Bilas has come out with his opinion on this matter either. Last month during ESPN's "College Gameday" on Jan. 27, Bilas said that "fans do not belong on the court" after Iowa women's basketball star guard Caitlin Clark fell to the ground after being pushed over by an Ohio State student after the Buckeyes upset the Hawkeyes on Jan. 21.

"The passion of it is great. I love the passion. Fans do not belong on the court. Ever. Ever. And players don’t belong in the stands," Bilas said. "When somebody gets hurt, we’re going to get serious about it.”

No. 10 Duke is back in action on Wednesday at home at 7 p.m. ET against Louisville.

This article originally appeared on The Fayetteville Observer: Jay Bilas wants court storming punishment after Wake Forest-Duke