Let’s all get serious right now. Nobody actually thought this was going to happen. C’mon. Admit it.
After watching Wake Forest hand Duke its first ACC loss of the season last Saturday in Winston-Salem, you probably had little doubt that the Blue Devils would come into Coral Gables and rout Miami. Just as North Carolina did to us after their loss to Maryland, you thought to yourself, “No way can a team like Duke lose two games in a row.”
And to the delight of every student at this school, our inconsistent Miami Hurricanes pulled off an unthinkable upset against Coach Krzyzewski and his boys.
As I eagerly stood in the student section and watched the clock tick away, we all began to creep closer and closer to the floor in anticipation of what would undoubtedly culminate in the single best tradition for college student sections in America: rushing the court.
For the lucky few who made it through the barricade of security guards and Coral Gables policemen, bravo. You will probably never forget that experience. As for the rest of the student section, you truly put up one heck of a fight. But let’s face the sad truth. If you thought the whole student section was actually going to make it out onto that floor, then you clearly have the University of Miami confused with EVERY other school.
As a sophomore, this game was the biggest and best victory by any Miami Hurricane team during my time at the school. And after watching the black and yellow tie-dye clad Wake Forest faithful rush the floor like maniacs last Saturday, I wondered if I would ever get to experience that euphoric display of fan hood. And when the opportunity actually presented itself, no more than four days later, I was denied.
I understand why schools do not allow their students to rush the playing surface. Yes, it does create a potentially dangerous situation for the players, especially those on the opposing team. But virtually every college student that rushes a football field or a basketball court does not do so out of malice for the other team–they do it to celebrate a great moment with their friends and student athletes.
On Wednesday, I saw one student get legitimately laid out by a security guard. One policeman violently cursed out another kid, encouraging the student to “come at me, you [expletive] faggot.”
We had already gotten a taste of the school’s hard-headedness; just think back to the Orange Bowl controversy last semester.
I want to applaud the players who, after recognizing that we couldn’t make it out onto the court, came into the student section to celebrate with us. It was, in its own way, a very special gesture.
Maybe it was foolish for us to think that things would be different for a basketball game, but the university truly let down its students. It may be a violation of conference policy to rush the court, but that doesn’t make it right.
So next year when we beat Florida State at Dolphin Stadium, I hope that each and every one of you makes a run for the goal posts. Sadly, I am afraid, it is one thing that students at the University of Miami will probably never get to experience.
Zack Loss may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.