The SEC wants to take further action to prevent fans from storming fields and courts after big wins.
The conference announced Friday that it was forming a working group to “address post-game spectator incursion on competition fields and courts.” Current SEC practice is to fine schools whose fans rush the field or storm the court after a game and those fines can escalate based on frequency.
“Current conference policies need to be reviewed and improved with a focus on addressing field and court incursions by spectators after contests,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. “The SEC’s working group on event security will focus its efforts on reviewing existing policies, developing new strategies and identifying best practices to enhance crowd management and effectively address field and court incursions at future SEC athletics events.”
The group is expected to provide recommendations ahead of the 2023 SEC spring meetings. Teams are fined $50,000 for a first field-storming offense, $100,000 for a second and $250,000 for each subsequent field storming.
“Providing consistent and appropriate levels of safety and security remains the common goal of SEC member institutions,” Sankey said. “Our institutions remain current and vigilant in crowd control best practices and continue to work with local law enforcement to develop effective security protocols at SEC venues and we need to continue the adaptation of conference policies to address emerging realities.”
The formation of the group comes after Tennessee fans flooded the field in Knoxville following a last-second field goal to give the Volunteers a win over Alabama and LSU fans took to the field after a win against Ole Miss. After Tennessee's win, Alabama WR Jermaine Burton was shown on video after the game allegedly striking a female Tennessee fan who was on the field.
Alabama coach Nick Saban said that he and other players were “scared” in the moments after the game as Tennessee fans rushed onto the field and that Burton was put into a counseling program for his actions instead of facing an on-field punishment like a suspension.
Tennessee was fined $100,000 for the field storming that saw fans take down the goalposts and carry them out of the stadium. A week later, LSU was fined $250,000.