The SEC announced on Monday that they have handed down penalties to Tennessee for the delay in game during the Saturday night contest. The conference handed down a monetary penalty and require Tennessee to review game film to find the parties involved.
In conjunction with the announcement, Commissioner Greg Sankey released the following statement:
“The disruption of Saturday night’s game is unacceptable and cannot be repeated on any SEC campus,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. “Today’s actions are consistent with the oversight assigned by the membership to the SEC office, including the financial penalty and review of alcohol availability. We will use this opportunity to reemphasize to each SEC member the importance of providing a safe environment even with the intensity of competition that occurs every week. We will also reengage our membership in further review of the alcohol availability policy to consider additional measures for the sale and management of alcohol while providing the appropriate environment for collegiate competition.”
Tennessee will be fined $250,000 for the incident, but this fine will come out of the annual revenue share they receive at the end of each year. The school must also do the following.
- 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.
- 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.
Athletic Director Danny White also released a statement in conjunction regarding the incident:
“I was in communication with Commissioner Sankey throughout the weekend, and we discussed a variety of things that took place Saturday night. As I stated after the game, the actions that led to the temporary stoppage of play were unacceptable. The conduct of a small percentage of fans has led to unfortunate consequences on multiple fronts. While I don’t believe that conduct is representative of the Tennessee fanbase as a whole, I understand this imperative action by the league. Safety is paramount.”
White added, “Some elements of what the league office has instructed were already in motion, as a review of in-venue video began this weekend. Internally—and in collaboration with our campus partners—we’ll continue to evaluate accountability measures and develop an action and education plan for future games.”
In the end, this isn’t the worst penalty for Tennessee. At least they won’t have to immediately cut a check to the conference, and they can continue selling alcohol at the stadium.