BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Southeastern Conference schools could face fines of as much as $50,000 if fans come onto the field or court during football or basketball games.
The policy was approved by all SEC schools and took effect Dec. 1. It states that "access to competition areas shall be limited to participating student-athletes, coaches, officials, support personnel and properly credentialed individuals at all times."
The policy imposes fines on schools for violations in football and men's and women's basketball. The 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 a third and subsequent offense. The size of the penalty will be determined by the commissioner.
"This policy is designed to create a safe environment for our student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans," SEC commissioner Mike Slive said Tuesday. "Our institutions felt that this was a step that needed to be taken."
Fans who violate the rules can be kicked out, arrested and kept from purchasing tickets. Students may also be punished by their schools for violating the rules.
The SEC, from its headquarters in Birmingham, did not cite any specific disturbance as prompting the policy. But it comes after two confrontations last month -- a fight involving fans and players at an NBA game and a fight among players at the end of the Clemson-South Carolina football game.