College Basketball: A Mess on the Hardwood

Tim PollockSenior Writer IFebruary 11, 2008

There is an alarming and annoying trend in college basketball that has cropped up over the last few years.

And quite frankly, it needs to stop.      

Once a place where amateur athletes would take to a standard hardwood court, schools have now begun painting their courts like a freak-show graffiti contest—and everyone is trying to get in on the act. 

From elite teams to mid-majors, no team is safe from the gigantic logos at half-court, two-tone lanes and three point lines, oddball caricatures, a scribbled coach’s signature, and many other strange depictions. 

While I’m not trying to suggest the painted courts are ruining the “sanctity of the game,” I do think it makes the NCAA look a bit more commercial and wannabe NBA—more about entertainment and less about the game itself.

Clearly there are several culprits across the nation, but here are the three most glaring eyesores from my perspective...

Oklahoma State

Oh, where to begin with the Cowboys.

To begin, the free-throw lane is a two-tone of orange fading into black, like something out of a “Pimp My Basketball Court” Halloween Special. The 9,000 font “Eddie Sutton Court” signature is just plain silly—and a tad on the NASCAR side. Making the signature doubly weird is that Sutton is now coaching another team. 

The cherry on top, however, is the cartoon cowboy firing a handgun near the bottom of the court. 

Overall, the court is a conglomeration of everything tacky.



Valparaiso doesn’t have the crazy factor Oklahoma State has, but their midcourt alone is enough to make someone puke. 

At the center is an all-caps “VALPO” screaming at you—and behind the words is an enormous cartoon and very duck-footed soldier with his hands balled up for a fistfight.  Oddly enough, the etched “VALPO” and the armored “Crusader” are not in traditional Valparaiso colors. The Crusader is a brown and pale yellow—not to mention the red feather in his cap. Seriously, the guy has a red feather. 

Meanwhile, the players’ jerseys are black and gold.  The whole scene is very strange—like a Nickelodeon-set kind of strange.


Colorado State

One word: ridiculous. 

This is probably the most difficult court for ADD players and fans to remain focused while visiting. 

On both sides of the court, from the baseline out well past the three-point line, a giant ram’s head is etched with disconnected lines.  It’s a bit like traffic lines in circular motions.  Players inexplicably pull up from 37 feet out due to the confusion. 

Watching a game on HD is an instant headache.     

I am sure there are several other violators out there. Chime in, please, with other teams who have committed the graffiti court sin…