KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE/WKRN) — The University of Tennessee has been fined for its fans storming the football field at Neyland Stadium Saturday after the Volunteers beat the University of Alabama for the first time since 2006.
The Southeastern Conference (SEC) announced Tennessee will incur a $100,000 fine for violating the league’s access to competition area policy. This is the second time that Tennessee has been fined for this policy, with the first being after a basketball game against Florida in 2006, according to the SEC.
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.”
As soon as the Tennessee-Alabama game ended with a last-minute, 40-yard field goal — bringing the final score to 52-49 — fans from the sold-out stands flooded the field. Staff from Nexstar’s WATE was at the stadium and captured the moment on video, which you can watch below.
Tennessee fans then tore down the goalposts, carried them out of Neyland Stadium, and threw them into the Tennessee River.
Following the excitement, Tennessee Football tweeted on Sunday, “Y’all remember how we tore the goalposts down, hauled em out of Neyland and dumped em in the Tennessee River? Yeah that was awesome. Anywho, turns out that in order to play next week’s game, we need goalposts on our field. Could y’all help us out?”
The university included a link to a fundraising page, which said philanthropic annual gifts made to the My All Campaign would go toward purchasing new goalposts. Suggested payment amounts include $16 (“Seasons since Vols beat Alabama”), $52.49 (“Final score of the breathtaking game”), and $1,019.15 (“Capacity of the sold out Neyland Stadium”).
As of 5 p.m. CT Sunday, roughly $42,000 had been raised, which is about 27% of the goal.
Once Tennessee pays its SEC fine, it will be deposited into the SEC Post-Graduate Scholarship Fund, the conference noted.