The SEC fined the Texas A&M Aggies a whopping $100,000 after their fans stormed the field on Saturday. Yet after their upset victory against No. 1 Alabama, it’s safe to assume the university will gladly cough up the huge fine.
There’s a long-running tradition of taking the field after a big win in college sports. For years, students have led home crowds storming their football fields or basketball courts to celebrate upset victories. It typically happens in rivalry games where one team is ranked much higher than their opponent, or in any case of a No. 1 team being upset.
However, in recent years, the tradition has been discouraged and taken very seriously by conferences across the nation. That’s why on Monday the Southeastern Conference dished out a $100,000 fine to Texas A&M for their fans’ actions on Saturday. The fine was handed down for the violation of fans entering the field of play.
The unranked Aggies pulled off the upset win at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas over the weekend. The team led for most of the game, but Bama came storming back late. But Texas A&M kicker Seth Small converted a 28-yard field goal that sealed his team’s 41-38 win over the No.1-ranked Crimson Tide as time expired.
As the football went through the uprights and the refs signaled that the field goal attempt was good, the fans immediately poured onto the field. Kyle Field had its second largest crowd in school history, so a mass celebration on the turf ensued. Since the stadium has a capacity of more than 102,000 ticket holders, good luck containing that many excited fans.
Texas A&M Hit With Doubled Fine for Second Offense in Three Years
This isn’t the first time the SEC has fined Texas A&M for fans running onto the field. In 2018, the Aggies upset No. 7 LSU in a wild game that took seven overtimes to decide the winner.
According to SEC league rules, the fine pertains to their “access to competition area policy,” which does not allow fans on the field. In fact, the policy only allows certain people on the field. Obviously the players, coaches, and game officials are allowed on the turf. Further, the policy allows “support personnel and properly credentialed individuals” to have access to competition areas as well.
The policy is in place to protect the safety of “participants and spectators alike,” according to the SEC rule. Additionally, the league holds each school responsible for implementing procedures that ensure the rule’s compliance at home games.
When Texas A&M fans stormed the field after beating LSU three years ago, the SEC fined the university $50,000. The SEC also informed the school that future violations would double the fine. Hence the $100,000 fine for this weekend’s on-field celebrations. If Aggies fans take the field again after another big win, A&M will be forced to pay $250,000 in fines. The SEC uses the money accumulated from fines for post-graduate scholarship funds.