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SEC fines Tennessee $250K for Saturday’s trash-throwing incident

Photo courtesy of the Southeastern Conference

The University of Tennessee has been fined $250,000 after fans began hurling trash onto the field during Saturday night’s Ole Miss-Tennessee game. 

The Volunteer faithful began tossing bottles, cans and all kinds of debris, including a golf ball that hit Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin, following a review that confirmed Tennessee fell just short of converting a critical 4th-and-long with under a minute to play.

The game was delayed for 20 minutes as security attempted to gain control of the crowd. In addition to the financial penalty, the SEC also levied the following penalties against the program. 

  • 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.

According to the Knoxville Sentinel, the incident led to 18 arrests and 47 individuals were ejected from the stadium. 

Play eventually resumed and the Rebels held on for a 31-26 victory. 

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