Butler County Times Gazette
  • KU athletics considers changes to 'Late Night'

  • University of Kansas athletic officials say they will consider changing entry procedures for the Late Night in the Phog basketball event after complaints about a lack of crowd control last Friday.
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  • University of Kansas athletic officials say they will consider changing entry procedures for the Late Night in the Phog basketball event after complaints about a lack of crowd control last Friday.
    Associate athletic director Jim Marchiony said the athletics department plans to discuss possible changes for controlling crowds as they wait for entrance into the free event, which marks the beginning of the men's basketball season. Fans typically line up for hours to get into Allen Fieldhouse, The Lawrence Journal-World reported (http://bit.ly/17budwZ ).
    This year's Late Night event included the introduction of Andrew Wiggins, the nation's top basketball recruit.
    Fans complained about people frequently cutting in line and a mob rushing the entrance when the doors opened Friday. Between 3,000 and 5,000 fans were turned away. Others reported fights broke out and that the university wasn't providing security or crowd control.
    "We don't want to change the spirit and the atmosphere of what Late Night has been, but we do have to consider fans' behavior and safety and the general fan experience," Marchiony said.
    Traci and Dwight Bennett came from Derby on Friday to meet their daughter, Amber Hess, and had a spot in line at around 11:45 a.m., Traci Bennett said.
    "Absolutely no one was watching from the university for any crowd control," Bennett said. "We didn't see any security outside and nobody made sure people stayed in line."
    At one point people who appeared to be students began filing in front of her family, "sometimes 20 to 30 at a time," she said.
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