The Southeastern Conference offers the best football this side of the National Football League, and tosses out No Fun League fines like its professional brethren as well.
Both Kentucky and Ole Miss were hit with fines for their respective field rushings on Saturday. Ole Miss’ came after a 23-17 upset of No. 3 Alabama, the school’s first win over the Tide since 2004, and the first win over a No. 1 ranked team (Alabama was No. 1 in the Coaches’ Poll) in 11 tries. Kentucky’s violation came after a 45-38 upset of South Carolina in which the Wildcats scored the game’s final 21 points.
Ole Miss will pay the league $50,000, while Kentucky has been docked $25,000.
For those asking about the discrepancy in SEC fines, Ole Miss is a “3-time offender” (2012, ’13), Kentucky’s last more than 3 years ago.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) October 5, 2014
The schools were fined according to league bylaws that state “access to competition areas shall be limited to participating student-athletes, coaches, officials, support personnel and properly-credentialed individuals at all times. For the safety of participants and spectators alike, at no time before, during or after a contest shall spectators be permitted to enter the competition area. It is the responsibility of each member institution to implement procedures to ensure compliance with this policy.”
The wins moved Ole Miss to No. 3 in the Associated Press poll, the Rebels’ highest ranking since beginning the 1964 season at No. 1. Kentucky, meanwhile, is on a two-game SEC winning streak after losing its previous 17 conference tilts.
With all that considered, you have to figure athletics directors Ross Bjork (Ole Miss) and Mitch Barnhart (Kentucky) have to file these fines under the “problems you are delighted to have” category.