SEC fines South Carolina, Vanderbilt after football fans storm fields following upset wins

SEC fines South Carolina, Vanderbilt after football fans storm fields following upset wins

Vanderbilt and South Carolina scored big upset victories Saturday, and the SEC announced fines for both schools Sunday after their fans stormed the respective fields. The SEC announced a fine of $250,000 for the Commodores and a fine of $100,000 for the Gamecocks commensurate with the league’s access to competition area policy. Vanderbilt defeated Florida, 31-24, for its second-straight SEC win, while South Carolina shocked the college football world with a 63-38 drubbing of No. 5 Tennessee.

The SEC’s rulebook includes an access to competition area policy that imposes escalating fines for field- or court-stormings depending on how many times the guilty university has violated the policy in the past. Since Vanderbilt committed its third offense, it earned a larger fine than South Carolina. This was the second time the SEC deemed the Gamecocks violated the policy.

The exact policy reads as follows: “Access to competition areas shall be limited to participating student-athletes, coaches, officials, personal support and properly-credentialed individuals at all times. For the safety of participants and spectators alike, at no time before, during or after a contest shall spectators be permitted to enter the competition area. It is the responsibility of each member institution to implement procedures to ensure compliance with this policy.”

South Carolina’s fans last stormed a playing surface in 2014 after the Gamecocks upset Kentucky. For Vanderbilt, the last instance came after an upset of the Wildcats in men’s basketball back in 2016. Fans stormed the field at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, SC, en masse Saturday night, whereas Vanderbilt’s storming consisted of perhaps a couple of hundred students who remained on campus for the first day of the university’s Thanksgiving break.

Both schools move on to face in-state rivals later this week. South Carolina has finished SEC play and heads on the road to face Clemson on Saturday. Meanwhile, Vanderbilt plays host to Tennessee with a chance to earn its sixth win and an accompanying bowl game.

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In the wake of a field storming at Tennessee following the Volunteers’ upset win over Alabama earlier this season, the SEC announced in October that it will “review and update policies intended to address post-game spectator incursion on competition fields and courts” and that new policies could take effect next school year.

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