Once again, this is a check that a university won’t mind cutting at all.
Saturday night, Auburn cut down mighty Alabama in a wild win that all but ensured the Crimson Tide will not be a College Football Playoff participant for the first time ever. Not surprisingly, the joyous fans in attendance at Jordan-Hare Stadium stormed the field in celebration.
Just as unsurprisingly, the SEC Monday announced that Auburn has been fined $250,000 because of the field-storming that violates the conference’s prohibition of “postgame fan access to the competition area.” This was the university’s fourth violation of a policy that was enacted in 2004 and revamped in 2015, with the most recent coming in 2017 after beating, you guessed it, their Iron Bowl rivals.
An initial violation results in a $50,000 fine levied by the league, with that total increased to $100,000 for a second. Any subsequent violation costs the school $250,000 for each subsequent occurrence. The conference noted in its release that “[f]ines levied against schools for violation of the access to competition area policy are deposited into the SEC Post-Graduate Scholarship Fund.”
From the conference’s release:
The member universities of the Southeastern Conference unanimously approved the policy which requires fines to be applied when spectators enter the playing field after a game.
The policy states that “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.