Vanderbilt and South Carolina pulled off big surprise wins on Saturday, and the SEC announced fines for both schools on Sunday after their fans stormed their respective fields. The SEC announced a $250,000 fine for the Commodores and a $100,000 fine for the Gamecocks, which comply with the league’s access policy to competitive areas. Vanderbilt defeated Florida 31-24 for their second straight SEC win, while South Carolina shocked the college football world with a 63-38 win over No. 5 Tennessee.
The SEC’s rulebook includes a Access to a competitive area policy that imposes escalating fines for field or court storming based on the number of times the offending university has a history of violating the policy. Because Vanderbilt committed its third misdemeanor, it received a heavier fine than South Carolina. This was the second time the SEC found the Gamecocks to have violated policy.
The exact policy is as follows: “Access to competition areas is restricted to participating athletes, coaches, officials, support staff and duly accredited persons at all times. For the safety of competitors and spectators, spectators may not enter the competition area at any time before, during or after a competition. It is the responsibility of each member institution to implement procedures to ensure compliance with this policy.”
South Carolina fans last stormed a court in 2014 after the Gamecocks upset Kentucky. For Vanderbilt, the final blow came after the Wildcats upset men’s basketball in 2016. Fans stormed the field at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, SC Saturday night en masse, while Vanderbilt’s forward consisted of maybe a few hundred students on the first day of the University Thanksgiving holidays stayed on campus.
Both schools will face off against in-state rivals later this week. South Carolina finished the SEC game and is headed to take on Clemson on Saturday. Meanwhile, Vanderbilt hosts Tennessee with a shot at its sixth win and an accompanying bowl game.
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After a field storm in Tennessee following the Volunteers’ upset win over Alabama earlier this season, the SEC announced in October that they “Reviewing and updating policies aimed at “tackling post-game spectator intrusion into competition fields and pitches” and that new policies may come into effect next school year.