Late Night in the Phog leaves some KU fans disappointed

LAWRENCE, Kan. - To the fans who got inside Allen Fieldhouse Friday night for Late Night at the Phog, it was hoops heaven.

Those left on the outside thought the opposite.

Fans posted angry comments Saturday morning on the KU Facebook page that included questions about crowd control.

"We feel bad for the people who waited in line and could not get in when Allen Fieldhouse filled to capacity,''' Jim Marchiony, associate  athletics director for public affairs, stated in an e-mail to 41 Action News. "We are thrilled we have so many passionate fans; Kansas is one of the few programs in the country that can draw so many fans to such an event.''

It was a hectic scene Friday evening in Lawrence as fans tried to get into the first basketball practice of the season. Kelly Ebeling, a freshman at KU, said it was an out -of-body experience.

"I was expecting to just file in, and it was like people everywhere was trying to get in," she said.

Senior student William Conley says there's always a lot of excitement surrounding the first-come, first-served event, but this year it was different.  

"Obviously, there was the hype around Andrew Wiggins and this recruiting class," Conley said. "It got a lot more intense this year. There's not really much structure or organization to how people get in. They'll just bombard and bum-rush their way in. There just needs to be a little more organization."

"The fact that people who started camping out at 9 a.m. were not able to get in, and people who had just got there ran past people to get in, shows how poorly KU Athletics ran this," Rose Shriver said in an email. "I am a senior at KU, and this really ruined my last year."

Marchiony said procedures may change for next year's event.

"We are aware that some individuals rushed the doors ahead of the people who waited patiently for hours, Marchiony stated. "We plan to have discussions about our procedures for future Late Night events.''

The KU men's basketball team is expected to contend for a national championship after grabbing the nation's top recruit and adding other highly regarded players.

The players treated Late Night attendees to a night of comedy and basketball.

Wiggins, the prize recruit, displayed dance moves and dunks for the packed house.

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