Tennessee Penalized for Football Game Interruption

Cambria Lion

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BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (October 18, 2021) - The Southeastern Conference announced Monday the University of Tennessee will be assessed a financial penalty and must meet requirements set forth by the Commissioner following interruption of its October 16 football game with the University of Mississippi due to fans throwing debris on to the field.

The final minute of the Ole Miss-Tennessee football game was interrupted and delayed when some fans threw objects onto the playing field, interrupting the competitive opportunity for both teams, endangering contest participants and prompting relocation of the University of Tennessee marching band and members of cheerleading squad.

"The disruption of Saturday night's game is unacceptable and cannot be repeated on any SEC campus," said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. "Today's actions are consistent with the oversight assigned by the membership to the SEC office, including the financial penalty and review of alcohol availability. We will use this opportunity to reemphasize to each SEC member the importance of providing a safe environment even with the intensity of competition that occurs every week. We will also reengage our membership in further review of the alcohol availability policy to consider additional measures for the sale and management of alcohol while providing the appropriate environment for collegiate competition."

Under the sportsmanship, game management and alcohol availability policies established by the Southeastern Conference, the University of Tennessee will:

  • Be assessed a financial penalty of $250,000, which will be deducted from the University's share of SEC revenue distribution.
  • Be required to use all available resources, including security, stadium and television video, to identify individuals who threw objects on to the playing field or at the opposing team. All individuals identified as having been involved in disrupting the game shall be prohibited from attending Tennessee Athletics events for the remainder of the 2021-22 academic and athletic year.
  • Review and update its Athletics Department game management procedures and alcohol availability policies to prevent a recurrence of Saturday night's disruption, which shall include an evaluation of agreed upon SEC Sportsmanship, Game Management and Alcohol policies to verify full compliance with existing standards.
  • Following completion of this review and prior to the University of Tennessee's next home football game, the University shall provide a report to the Conference Office to summarize its efforts to identify and penalize offenders and its plan to enact policies to prevent future similar incidents while ensuring compliance with Conference standards.
The actions taken by the Conference are consistent with SEC Commissioner's Regulations related to the availability of alcoholic beverages at athletics events which states, "If cans or plastic bottles are used as projectiles or otherwise cause game management issues, the institution is subject to an immediate fine and suspension of the alcohol sales privilege."

The Conference is not suspending alcohol sales privileges for the University of Tennessee at this time but reserves the right to do so if other requirements outlined above are not met.

 

Mufasa94

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Jan 9, 2009
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Ends up being the same monetary fine as UK got a few weeks ago for fans rushing the field after beating UF. Granted, that was a third offense for UK, but none of UK’s incidents impacted the play on the field, or to my knowledge, thrown projectiles, like golf balls, that could cause injury.

That alone should have had the SEC do something more.
 

NittPicker

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I didn't watch the game. Was any type of yardage penalty assessed when play resumed. Or didn't the refs want to risk agitating the hill jacks more than they already were??
 

psu00

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I didn't watch the game. Was any type of yardage penalty assessed when play resumed. Or didn't the refs want to risk agitating the hill jacks more than they already were??
No penalty was given to Tennessee at the time.
 

psu00

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Ends up being the same monetary fine as UK got a few weeks ago for fans rushing the field after beating UF. Granted, that was a third offense for UK, but none of UK’s incidents impacted the play on the field, or to my knowledge, thrown projectiles, like golf balls, that could cause injury.

That alone should have had the SEC do something more.
Exactly. I remember the announcers at the time saying there was a $250,000 fine given to Auburn and Kentucky just for fans rushing the field after big wins but that any punishment for Tennessee had to be much worse as this was endangering players, cheerleaders, and other fans.

Clearly the SEC office just went through the motions here because they had to do something for PR. They gave the same boiler plate fine and some ridiculous suspension for any identifiable fans for this year only.

My guess is there will be very few that they can actually identify. Even if they identify a few, Tennessee only has 3 home games left against Georgia, South Alabama, and Vanderbilt.
 

The Spin Meister

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Pretty weak. It will take weeks to ID the culprits and the season will be over. The ban should be five years. They should have immediately suspend alcohol sales after half time. Maybe total sales for the rest of the season. Five year probation. And if it happens again in that time, empty the bottom ten rows of seats.
 
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sss

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Exactly. I remember the announcers at the time saying there was a $250,000 fine given to Auburn and Kentucky just for fans rushing the field after big wins but that any punishment for Tennessee had to be much worse as this was endangering players, cheerleaders, and other fans.

Clearly the SEC office just went through the motions here because they had to do something for PR. They gave the same boiler plate fine and some ridiculous suspension for any identifiable fans for this year only.

My guess is there will be very few that they can actually identify. Even if they identify a few, Tennessee only has 3 home games left against Georgia, South Alabama, and Vanderbilt.
They certainly will not be able to use dental records to identify any of the perpetrators. And DNA identification will probably light up 50% of the stadium.
 

psuro

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Aug 24, 2001
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The corner table at the Skellar
They certainly will not be able to use dental records to identify any of the perpetrators. And DNA identification will probably light up 50% of the stadium.

giphy.gif
 

ApexLion

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Pat Forde got banished from a Tennessee Radio Station because of his comments regarding the actions of the fans.
He read the fine print in the letter to the Vols' AD. It said:

We have no other choice but to fine you and send all of your season ticket holders to the dentist.
 
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PennsylvaniaPride

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Ends up being the same monetary fine as UK got a few weeks ago for fans rushing the field after beating UF. Granted, that was a third offense for UK, but none of UK’s incidents impacted the play on the field, or to my knowledge, thrown projectiles, like golf balls, that could cause injury.

That alone should have had the SEC do something more.

I hope PSU does not try to schedule a home and home with them. That was the worst display of fan behavior I’ve ever seen!
 

BudatPSU

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Aug 16, 2002
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They should add a surcharge on all the seats within throwing range of the field to pay the fine. Kind of like a tax that never goes away.
 

ChiTownLion

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I didn't watch the game. Was any type of yardage penalty assessed when play resumed. Or didn't the refs want to risk agitating the hill jacks more than they already were??

No penalty was given to Tennessee at the time.

Meanwhile, Big Ten referines penalize the Penn State football team because their fans were cheering too loud.
 

BobPSU92

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Reading this thread, Franklin could be fighting an uphill battle when he takes over in knoxville next year.
 
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RGWhirly

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I’d like to see Tennessee make a bowl game and every team refuse to play them. That would be funny and fitting.
 

psu00

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Reading this thread, Franklin could be fighting an uphill battle when he takes over in knoxville next year.
I think you’ve been misinformed. Last I heard Franklin will be coaching at Penn State, LSU, and USC next year. He won’t have time for Tennessee. ;)
 
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phillybillyreprise

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Put up nets like at baseball stadiums. It would be annoying to look through but would be mission accomplished for thrown objects.
As an aside:

In 1896, the first acknowledged professional basketball players played in a social hall enclosed in a 12-foot-high wire mesh fence. The cage was set up along the sidelines and endlines, so there really wasn't an "out-of-bounds" area, and spectators were safe from players fighting over the ball. Hence the nickname “Cager” for a basketball player.
 

NittPicker

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As an aside:

In 1896, the first acknowledged professional basketball players played in a social hall enclosed in a 12-foot-high wire mesh fence. The cage was set up along the sidelines and endlines, so there really wasn't an "out-of-bounds" area, and spectators were safe from players fighting over the ball. Hence the nickname “Cager” for a basketball player.
The original cage match. Nice!!! 🤼‍♂️
 

PSUriseANDfire

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Put up nets like at baseball stadiums. It would be annoying to look through but would be mission accomplished for thrown objects.

Most football games worst case scenario is you get ran into by a player on the sidelines or run into a rogue Tennessee fan.

Why punish everyone because of the shittiest fanbase in the country?

Those nets are not made for golfballs anyway 😂
 

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