Injured Register columnist: 'I was not trampled'
Editor's note: This story has been altered from its original publication to correctly describe Peterson's injury.
Randy Peterson, The Des Moines Register's columnist covering Iowa State sports, suffered a leg fracture during the Hilton Coliseum court-storming after Iowa State's 83-82 victory over Iowa on Thursday night.
Peterson's tibia and fibula were fractured during the post-game rush. Peterson was transported from Ames to Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines. Peterson tweeted early Friday that he believed he locked legs with someone. He was scheduled for a late Thursday surgery.
In an interview with "The Dan Patrick Show" Friday morning, Peterson said: “I knew the students would come. I’ve seen this happen a hundred times, as you have. I knew the students were coming. I was trying to beat it and it just didn’t work out.”
Peterson set the record straight on how the incident occurred:
“I was not trampled," he said. "I was knocked to the ground but as soon as I was on the ground, there was security all over me.”
His take on fans storming the court?
“I’m OK with it," Peterson said. "Let the people who need to get off the floor first get off the floor and the students can celebrate all they want.”
"I hate that Randy got hurt," Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said. "That's terrible. But, my thing, I was trying to go see my wife, to be honest with you. It was a great moment. That's part of college basketball. There's a picture of when they beat Michigan a couple years ago here. ... They beat Michigan and everybody rushed the floor."
When asked if he thought Peterson's injury could be used as an example of the dangers of court-storming, Prohm added: "That's not my decision. That's part of college athletics. That's a great moment. Those college kids ... they've been camping out here (for tickets) for three days. There's only probably 10 schools that do that in the country. Give them their 15 or 20 minutes to do that. I thought it was pretty cool. I probably should have enjoyed it more, but I was just thanking God I didn't have to come to this media session my first year and answer questions on why I lost to Iowa."
"It appeared to be a significant leg break," Pollard said. "Coach Prohm and I went out to talk to him and tried to comfort him. It is what it is."
This past summer, Big 12 Conference schools approved a measure allowing the league's commissioner to levy fines and take away home games to institutions that fail to keep fans from storming courts or rushing fields after games.
Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in May that the rule gave him broad authority: "I don't know that there's anything off the table."
Last February, Bowlsby publicly reprimanded Kansas State for failing to prevent Wildcats fans from pouring onto the court after the school's men's basketball upset victory over eighth-ranked Kansas.
The surge of humanity crushed Kansas coach Bill Self against a press table. His junior forward, Jamari Traylor, was body-checked by another fan. Assistant coach Kurtis Townsend had to peel away still more fans shouting profanities and making obscene gestures at his players.
After the incident at Kansas State, that school’s athletic director issued a statement saying that “security staff … was unable to get into proper position quickly enough last night and was overwhelmed by the fans rushing the floor.”
Iowa State’s student sections are along the baselines at Hilton Coliseum. On ESPN2’s telecast of the end of the game, no building personnel are visible facing the students at the west end of the court, where the game ended. Within eight seconds of the buzzer sounding, fans can be seen streaming onto the floor unimpeded from the east end. Video does show event staff protecting the handshake line along the benches.
A wide shot of the court less than a minute after the game ended showed people attending to Peterson in the southeast corner of the court.
"Foremost, our concern is with Randy, who is a beloved member of our staff and one of the hardest-working journalists in the profession," said Amalie Nash, the Register's executive editor. "Beyond that, we want to get a better understanding of what transpired, what security was in place and how to prevent something like this from happening again."
Iowa State University Police said they were not immediately aware of any other injuries.
After the Kansas State incident, Bowlsby said that revisions to policies must guarantee that no such incidents like that should occur in the future.
"We are certainly most interested in the safety of our participants and would include home team, visiting team, officials, table crew and the like," the commissioner said at the time. "And we have pretty good video evidence of all our big events so we can review them."
Iowa State fans have rushed the playing surface numerous times in recent years — including after the most recent victory over the Hawkeyes at Hilton Coliseum in 2013, and after football wins over Oklahoma State and Iowa in 2011.
For what it's worth, Peterson's comic timing was unharmed.