SEC Taking Active Stance Against Fans Storming Fields After Big Home Team Wins

Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel
Tennessee fans react to a call on the field at the 2021 Music City Bowl NCAA college football game at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021. Kns Tennessee Purdue

College football fans rushing onto the football field after a major win has been an iconic moment in the history of college sports for years. Now, the SEC is attempting to deter fans from rushing the fields by imposing heavy fines on the schools and pre-planning before the start of games. The goal is to emphasize safety for players, staff, school bands and other students.

“When people want to go, they want to go,” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said. “But we have to re-train people to stay in the stands.”

Tennessee Volunteers fans rushed onto the field of Neyland Stadium after pulling out an upset 52-49 win over the Alabama Crimson Tide. The win marks the first time the Vols have beaten in the Tide in fifteen games and the first time they’ve beaten the Tide in the Nick Saban era. Fans ripped the goalposts down and carried them out of the stadium and dumped them into the Tennessee River. The SEC issued a $100,000 fine to the school for its second offense under the league’s field access policy. Additionally, an incident occurred on the field involving a Tennessee fan and Alabama wide receiver Jermaine Burton.

A TikTok video about the receiver went viral the day after the game. The video, reportedly posted by a girl named Emily Isaacs, claims to show Burton striking her in the face as they were walking by one another. Isaacs captioned the video, “Jermaine Burton smacking me in the head while walking past him after their loss Saturday.” Isaacs added the #ouch hashtag along with a thumbs-up emoji.

Saban said the incident with Burton was due to the receiver being afraid of what was happening around him. “I talked to him,” he said. “He was scared. I was scared. Some of our other players were scared.”

The SEC has had a policy set in place for football fields and basketball courts since 2004. Schools are reportedly fined $50,000 for its first offense, then the amount doubles to $100,000 for its second offense. The monetary value increases to $250,000 for a third offense, and continues trending upward in hopes of incentivizing schools to keeping its fans in their seats after games.

The San Diego Union-Tribune has more HERE.

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