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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Conferences Want to Crack Down On Fans Storming Football Fields

  • Fines don’t seem to have deterred schools from allowing fans to storm their fields after games.
  • Now, the Big 12 and SEC are making extra investments to stop the trend.
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Conferences require schools to pay a fine when their fans storm the field as part of a post-game celebration.

But that doesn’t seem to be much of a deterrent these days — just ask Kansas, LSU, and Tennessee, who all pulled off major upsets in recent weeks.

Now, conference offices are bringing in extra resources to stop the trend.

  • Last Friday, the Southeastern Conference assembled a working group to explore ways to halt crowd-storming and increase in-game security. 
  • On Tuesday, the Big 12 hired the Oak View Group to evaluate future safety measures at all of the conference’s schools.

Both the Big 12 and SEC already require six-figure penalties — though they don’t seem to have made much of an impact on field-storming,  

LSU, for example, was fined $250,000 after beating Ole Miss in October, the maximum fine required by the SEC. But the school didn’t appear concerned with shelling out another $250,000 two weeks later, after the Tigers beat Alabama.

Some school officials have joked that the fines are a small price to pay. After Tennessee paid $100,000 for celebrating its win over Alabama, Vols men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl tweeted that the fine was “worth every penny!”

In response, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said: “We need to continue the adaptation of conference policies to address emerging realities.”

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