SEC Considering Severe New Penalties For Field Storming

Listen up, SEC fans.

The SEC is mulling new proposals designed to put an end to field storming once and for all.

According to Pat Forde for Sports Illustrated, the conference is on a mission to find a stronger deterrent to the raucous tradition out of concern for the safety of players, coaches, officials, and even the fans themselves. 

Tennessee Goalpost

Donald Page/Getty Images

Commissioner Greg Sankey reportedly appointed a working group on event safety back in November—shortly after Tennessee's infamous goalpost-toppling victory over Alabama. The group, headed by Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne, Georgia AD Josh Brooks, and Kentucky AD Mitch Barnhart, has been “gathering input and weighing options” for months now, per Sports Illustrated

With the continued failure of hefty six-figure fines to curb the behavior, officials are reportedly considering penalties some might describe as “draconian,” including the loss of a future SEC home game for offending teams. 

“The fact that field-rushing still happens means that the fine structure hasn't solved all of our problems,” Sankey said at the Associated Press Sports Editors southeast region meeting in Birmingham last Monday, according to the Tuscaloosa News. Does just ramping up the fine resolve the issue? When you have a level of momentum around thousands and thousands of people, you have to be careful.” 

“I would expect some level of updates as we go into the year ahead,” he continued, “one of which is a higher expectation for security around the visiting team when those field incursions take place.”

: LSU fans climb the goal post after storming the field to celebrate their win against the Alabama Crimson Tide

One proposed solution calls for a school that has fans storm the field after a victory to be stripped of its next home game against that same opponent. Forde noted that another proposal, for the school to forfeit the game if its fans storm the field, "is unlikely to gain much traction."

Proposals are expected to be presented to the league’s athletic directors soon. From there, options for a new policy will likely be proposed to the school presidents and chancellors at SEC spring meetings in Destin, Florida. Approved changes could be implemented as soon as the 2023-24 athletic year.

This is a developing story.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles