The Southeastern Conference fined the University of Tennessee $250,000 for bad behavior by football fans during the Vols’ 31-to-26 loss to Ole Miss Saturday.
With less than a minute left in the game, UT supporters, angered by a referee’s call, began tossing bottles, cans and other trash onto the Old Miss sidelines, ESPN reported; Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin was hit with a golf ball. Officials halted the game for 20 minutes while Ole Miss football players were evacuated from the sidelines and cheerleaders and band members left Neyland Stadium.
Eighteen people were arrested and 51 ejected from the game, Knox News reported.
In addition to levying the fine, the SEC mandated that UT must use all available resources to identify the perpetrators and ban them from sporting events for the rest of the academic year; it must also review its alcohol policies and game management procedures and provide the SEC with a report summarizing those review efforts before the Vols’ next home game.
“The disruption of Saturday night’s game is unacceptable and cannot be repeated on any SEC campus,” conference commissioner Greg Sankey said.