VAUGHT: Smith - Fans have no business on the court

Kentucky coach Tubby Smith did appreciate one thing Florida did for him and his team Sunday.

Kentucky coach Tubby Smith did appreciate one thing Florida did for him and his team Sunday.

After the Gators upset the Wildcats, the Florida players celebrated like they had won the national championship — which they may have felt like since they had lost eight straight games to Kentucky. But Florida fans stayed off the floor.

"I appreciate the way they handled it. They had great security and their fans showed a lot of restraint," Smith said today. "They are a rowdy group (of fans). They did a good job pulling their team through and then they did stay off the court for the most part."

The Southeastern Conference has a rule prohibiting fans on the court after the game. Smith thinks it is a good rule. So does Florida coach Billy Donovan.

"Since I have been here, our fans have never come on the floor. A lot of credit goes to our administration," Donovan said today. "I would be concerned for the Kentucky players if, God forbid, something happened. With people not coming on the floor, it was the right thing for Kentucky. They deserved not to be involved in that."

He's right. As emotional as postgame celebrations can be after a big win, they are dangerous for the losing team as well as humiliating.

"They (fans) have no business on the court. None. We have to do everything we can to stop it and limit it from happening," Smith said. "It is all in fun, but it can get out of hand. Most of the time no one gets hurt, but you don't want them to tear up floor or anything else, either."


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