September 25, 2018 / 7:36 PM / 3 months ago

Kentucky fined $100K for fans storming field

Sep 22, 2018; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats running back Benny Snell Jr. (26) runs the ball against the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the second half at Kroger Field. Kentucky defeated Mississippi State 28-7. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky’s fans got a bit too vociferous in their celebration of last Saturday’s win over Mississippi State, and the school is paying the price.

The Southeastern Conference announced Tuesday that Kentucky has been fined $100,000 for violating the league’s “access to competition area policy” after a group of fans rushed the field following the 28-7 victory.

“The Conference has unanimously approved a policy requiring fines be applied when spectators enter the playing field after a game,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. “Fans are expected to remain in the stands and avoid the safety concerns associated with rushing on to the playing field. We want exciting experiences around SEC games, but also seek to maintain a safe environment for student-athletes, coaches, spectators and officials.”

This marks the second time Kentucky has been fined for fans storming the field. It also occurred after a 2014 contest against South Carolina, and the university was fined $25,000 on that occasion.

Such fines go to the SEC Post-Graduate Scholarship Fund.

Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart requested that the school’s fans not rush the field again.

“These rules are in place for a good reason: to ensure the safety of players, coaches and fans alike,” Barnhart said in a statement. “We are committed to these rules and to doing everything in our power to follow them and avoid future penalties. We ask our fans to remain in the stands to celebrate the victories our team is working to earn the rest of this season and beyond.”

Kentucky’s victory over Mississippi State elevated the Wildcats into the Top 25 for the first time since 2007. The Wildcats, ranked 17th, are also 4-0 for the first time since 2008 entering Saturday’s home game against South Carolina.

—Field Level Media

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