The Southeastern Conference is launching new protocols and penalties to prohibit fans from storming on fields or courts after big wins, which includes the home team paying a large fee to its opponents.
Schools will be charged up to $500,000 "to the opposing institution" if fans run onto the playing area after a victory, the conference announced on its official website after setting its new guidelines during its annual spring meetings on Thursday (June 2).
"The SEC has escalated the penalty structure for field and court incursions, and now those fines will be paid directly to the opposing institution:
- First offense - $100,000 (was $50,000)
- Second offense - $250,000 (was $100,000)
- Third and subsequent offenses - $500,000 (was $250,000)," the conference said.
The SEC said it "appointed a working group on event security" to analyze and combat "post-game spectator incursion" during sporting events. The rule changes come months after fans of the Tennessee Volunteers and LSU Tigers both stormed their respective home fields after upset wins against the Alabama Crimson Tide.
The SEC also announced an update to its scheduling for the 2024 football season amid the upcoming additions of the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners, which will include the elimination of division standings, instead having the two top teams play in the SEC Championship Game.
"Inthe one-year schedule, SEC teams will play eight conference games plus one required opponent from the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 or major independent during the 2024 season when the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas join the league," the SEC said. "In addition, the SEC will eliminate divisional standings beginning in 2024. The SEC Championship Game will feature the two top teams in the Conference standings at the end of the regular season.
"The single-standings format will allow every school to play every other school a minimum of two times in a four-year period, regardless of whether the SEC utilizes an 8-game or 9-game format for future Conference competition."