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SEC Reveals Punishment for Tennessee After Crowd Chaos

Tennessee SEC
The SEC has addressed a punishment for Tennessee after Saturday’s events in the fourth quarter. Photo by Ric Butler/Rocky Top Insider.

The Southeastern Conference has officially revealed the punishment that will be handed down to Tennessee as a result of the crowd events in the fourth quarter of Tennessee’s game against Ole Miss on Saturday, Oct. 16.

During the final few minutes of Saturday night’s game, play was stopped on the field to address sections of the crowd that were throwing trash onto the field. Eventually, after a delay that lasted just less than 20 minutes, the game was then resumed.

However, after the game, multiple people from Tennessee’s leadership council, and SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, released statements addressing the events. Although, in the SEC’s official statement, they said that consequences would be looked into this past weekend. As of Monday afternoon, the SEC has officially announced those consequences for Tennessee.

According to the SEC’s official release, Tennessee will have four main requirements stemming from the overall punishment:

  • Be assessed a financial penalty of $250,000, which will be deducted from the University’s share of SEC revenue distribution.
  • Be required to use all available resources, including security, stadium, and television video, to identify individuals who threw objects onto 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.

Additionally, SEC commissioner Sankey did weigh in on the matter in the official statement.

“The disruption of Saturday night’s game is unacceptable and cannot be repeated on any SEC campus,” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said. “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 SEC
Tennessee hosted No. 13 Ole Miss on Saturday Night in Knoxville. Photo by Rocky Top Insider.

After the conclusion of the game, Tennessee Chancellor Donde Plowman gave a strong reaction to the events on Twitter.

“I am astonished and sickened by the behavior of some Vol fans at the end of tonight’s game,” Chancellor Plowman said on Twitter after the game. “Good sportsmanship must be part of who we are as Volunteers. Behavior that puts student-athletes, visitors, and other fans at risk is not something we will tolerate. I will be calling Chancellor Boyce in the morning to offer my personal apology on behalf of the University of Tennessee and discuss what we can do to make this right. Neyland Stadium has always been a place for families, and we will keep it that way.”

In addition, on Sunday afternoon, the SEC did have a statement on Tyler Baron’s touchdown reversal from the first quarter. However, it wasn’t a very detailed response, leaving room for more questions that are yet to be answered.

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