BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- The Southeastern Conference announced today that two member institutions will be fined for a violation of the league's access to competition area policy due to fans entering the field following games of October 4.
The policy states that "access to competition areas shall be limited to participating student-athletes, coaches, officials, support personnel 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."
The institutions to be fined are Ole Miss and Kentucky. Ole Miss, which was fined for similar violations in 2012 and 2013, will be fined $50,000 for a third offense within three years. Kentucky, which was fined for similar violations in 2006 and 2007, will incur a fine of $25,000 because its last offense was more than three years ago.
The violations occurred following Ole Miss' 23-17 win over Alabama at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium and Kentucky's 45-38 victory over South Carolina at Commonwealth Stadium.
"Saturday's games were filled with excitement and celebration for a number of schools across the SEC last weekend, but significant risk of injury for student-athletes and fans alike can result from incidents such as these," said SEC commissioner Mike Slive. "Health and safety will always be a top priority at SEC athletic events."
The policy imposes financial penalties for violations in all sports sponsored by the SEC at the discretion of the Commissioner. Institutional penalties range from $5,000 for a first offense to fines of up to $25,000 for a second offense and up to $50,000 for a third and subsequent offenses. If an institution is penalized and subsequently does not have a violation for a period of three years from the date of the last violation, that subsequent violation shall be considered a second offense.
The league's access to competition area policy went into effect on December 1, 2004.