The Tennessee Volunteers have banned 16 students and nine other fans from all athletic events for throwing objects onto Neyland Field during the Volunteers’ loss to Ole Miss earlier this month.
Knox News reports the bans reportedly extend through the spring season. Tennessee also received punishment for the incident, having been fined $250,000 by the SEC.
Oct 16, 2021; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Fireworks burst as the National Anthem is played before a sold out crowd for a game between the Tennessee Volunteers and Mississippi Rebels at Neyland Stadium. (Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports)
“The university also promised the SEC that it is working to prevent future disruptions like the dangerous one that played out in front of a television audience Oct. 16,” Knox News’ Becca Wright reports. “The game was stopped when fans threw water bottles and garbage toward the Ole Miss sideline.”
UT Athletics Director Danny White outlined steps the university is taking to “effectively aid in the prevention of future incidents” outlined in a letter sent Friday to SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey, obtained by Knox News.
Oct 16, 2021; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Volunteers head coach Josh Heupel (facing camera) and Mississippi Rebels head coach Lane Kiffin meet at mid field after a game at Neyland Stadium. (Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports)
The outlet reports that at the Oct. 16 game, there were 18 arrests and 51 ejections at Neyland Stadium.
Knox News reports the changes that will be implemented immediately include:
Prohibit student guest tickets for the Nov. 13 game versus Georgia.Increase police and security staffers in the student section.Require students who request tickets to agree to the SEC and UT fan codes of conduct.Remove bottle caps at certain vending booths.Add “enhanced” metal detectors.Add more signs and PA announcements warning against misconduct.If students throw trash at the Nov. 13 game, they will be barred from athletic events.
Future considerations include:
Oct 16, 2021; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Debris is seen on the field after fans threw objects onto the field during the second half of a game between the Tennessee Volunteers and Mississippi Rebels at Neyland Stadium. (Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports)
Adding more video cameras.Considering the addition of more gameday staff.Reconfiguring how students enter the stadium to minimize lines at stadium gates.
UT was fined $250,000 by the SEC for trashing the field and the fine will be deducted from the university’s share of SEC revenue distribution.