SEC fines Missouri because fans rushed football field

Friday, December 20, 2013 | 6:14 p.m. CST; updated 2:05 p.m. CST, Saturday, December 21, 2013
Fans celebrate on the field following Missouri's 28-21 victory over Texas A&M on Nov. 30 at Memorial Stadium. The Southeastern Conference announced Missouri would be fined $5,000 for fans rushing the field, a violation of conference rules.

COLUMBIA — The SEC fined MU $5,000 on Friday as a penalty for fans rushing the football field on Nov. 30.

According to an SEC news release, the fine was imposed because fans entered the field after Missouri football’s 28-21 victory against Texas A&M at Memorial Stadium. Missouri fans stormed the field after the Tigers clinched the SEC East Division title and a berth in the SEC Championship game against Auburn.

Two other SEC teams were also fined because fans entered the field during the 2013 season. Auburn received a $5,000 fine in connection with fans' running onto the field when Auburn won the Iron Bowl after a field-goal attempt was run back for a touchdown. The 34-28 victory knocked off No. 1-ranked Alabama.

Ole Miss was fined $25,000 because fans entered the field at the end of the team's 27-24 victory over LSU. This is the school's second offense.

"These incidents pose a significant risk of injury," SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said in the news release, "and we must always make the health and safety of our student-athletes and fans the top priority."

Chad Moller, director of media relations for the Missouri athletics department, did not respond to a request for comment Friday afternoon. But those in attendance at the Missouri game against Texas A&M were told to not enter the field at the end of the game.

The SEC has a tiered fining system for when fans enter the field. According to SEC regulations, fines range for $5,000 for a first offense, up to $25,000 for a second, and up to $50,000 for third and subsequent offenses.

This is the first time Missouri football fans have rushed the field in the SEC, a conference Missouri joined in 2012. The last time was in 2010 when Missouri beat No. 1-ranked Oklahoma 36-27 at Memorial Stadium.

All financial penalties for sports violations within the SEC are at the discretion of the SEC commissioner, according to the news release.

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