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SEC to review ways to address fans storming fields

Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel

A fan exults after climbing the downed goal past at the end of Tennessee’s game against Alabama in Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn., on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. Kns Ut Bama Football Bp

Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.-- The Southeastern Conference announced it will review policies on postgame field and court storming by fans and explore ways schools can make the raucous celebrations safer.

The move comes after Tennessee and LSU were fined last month by the SEC for fans rushing the field after football games.

“When people want to go, they want to go,” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey told the SEC Network last month. “But we have to re-train people to stay in the stands.”

The conference said it will form a working group of athletic directors, event management directors and campus security personnel from member schools to study the issue and provide recommendations to be presented at SEC meetings next spring.

“Providing consistent and appropriate levels of safety and security remains the common goal of SEC member institutions,” Sankey said Friday. “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 SEC’s long-standing policy fines schools for fans rushing the playing field or court. Tennessee was fined $100,000 after fans flooded the field at Neyland Stadium and tore down one of the goal posts after the Volunteers beat Alabama.

The fines escalate with each violation. LSU was fined $250,000 for a third offense after its fans rushed the field after the Tigers beat Mississippi last month at Tiger Stadium.