by Kent Sterling
Thank God the metal plate that crashed from the rafters of Assembly Hall’s south end fell when it did. Reminders about keeping the importance of Indiana Basketball in perspective don’t need to come with the loss of life during a game.
Six and a half hours later, and at least one death would have been the likely result.
Indiana athletic Director Fred Glass spoke with ESPN an hour ago about what measures will be taken to determine the cause, and make sure there is no need for fans at future games to look toward the ceiling to pray for anything but a Hoosier win, “Well, we’ve had our university engineer here, we’ve actually had an outside consulting engineer review too. It’s pretty speculative at this point, but they think it’s probably weather related issue that forced that plate out.
“They advised us not to hold the event tonight,” Glass said. “Of course, safety is our number one priority, so we won’t hold the game tonight. We’ll see about the women’s game tomorrow night and so forth, but we’re going to work around the clock to evaluate the problem, fix the problem. We think we’ll have a good evaluation by the engineer as soon as midday tomorrow.
“We’ll have an outside consulting engineer here, Glass continued. They will make visual inspections from the floor. We’ll bring in special equipment so they can get up right next to the facing that appears to be the issue to do a physical and visual inspection. They will make a determination of what the causes are, and then we’ll fix it.”
What will determine when this game will be rescheduled?
“The information from the engineers, Glass told ESPN. “We’ll get out of their way, and make the resources available for all the right people to get in as quickly as they can, and then as soon as we get the information back from them and get it fixed and get it all clear, we’ll look to work with Iowa and the Big Ten to reschedule the game, and of course we have our women’s game tomorrow night too, and we’ll make a determination about that as quickly as we can.”
The men’s team doesn’t have another game at Assembly Hall until March 2nd against Ohio State, so there should be plenty of time for workers to address any non-profound structural issues that might give fans reason for worry.
Life is all about timing. Thankfully, Indiana’s timing was solid six hours before fan started to show up to watch the Hoosiers try to end its three-game losing streak.