Tuesday, January 24, 2006 Updated: January 25, 4:14 PM ET
Fans who rushed onto court prompt fine
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The Southeastern Conference fined
Tennessee $5,000 on Tuesday after fans rushed the court following
the Volunteers' 80-76 upset win Saturday over then-No. 2 Florida.
A league rule states that "at no time before, during or after a
contest shall spectators be permitted to enter the competition
"I understand the exuberance of the moment but the security and
protection of our student-athletes, coaches, officials and fans is
our primary concern," SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said.
The policy, which only affects football and basketball games,
went into effect Dec. 1, 2004. It came about two weeks after a
brawl involving players and fans at the Indianapolis Pacers-Detroit
Pistons game and a brawl among players in the Clemson-South
Carolina football game.
Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl said he wasn't upset with the fans'
reaction following the win over the previously unbeaten Gators. The
announced crowd of 24,011 was the sixth-largest crowd ever at a
men's game in Knoxville.
"I'm not upset with what happened at all," Pearl said earlier
this week. "But we have to understand, we have to act like we've
been there before. It's not often you beat the No. 2 team in the
country ... The bottom line is, we can't have that happen again
Penalties range from $5,000 for a first offense to fines of up
to $25,000 for a second offense and up to $50,000 for further