BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Dec. 20, 2013) – The Southeastern Conference announced today that three 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 during the 2013 football season.
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 Auburn, Ole Miss and Missouri. Auburn and Missouri will incur fines of $5,000 each. Ole Miss, which was fined for a similar violation in 2012, will be fined $25,000 for a second offense.
The violations occurred following Ole Miss’ 27-24 win over LSU on Oct. 19 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium; Auburn’s 34-28 win over Alabama on Nov. 30 at Jordan-Hare Stadium and Missouri’s 28-24 victory over Texas A&M on Nov. 30 at Memorial Stadium.
“These were some of the most exciting and intriguing games of the college football season and we understand the exuberance of our fans in the celebration of their schools’ victories, but these incidents pose a significant risk of injury and we must always make the health and safety of our student-athletes and fans the top priority,” said SEC commissioner Mike Slive.
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.