Sports Illustrated — Picture this potential scenario in the Southeastern Conference this fall: On Sept. 30 in Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn takes down undefeated, No. 1–ranked, two-time reigning national champion Georgia. Tigers fans celebrate their first victory over the rival Bulldogs since 2017 by storming the field.
And in response, the SEC moves Auburn’s next home game against Georgia, in 2025, to Athens. The Tigers would play the Bulldogs between the hedges three straight seasons, 2024 to ’26. That would be the price for storming the field.Sound like a draconian penalty for something that has been part of the fabric of college sports for decades? Well, it’s on the table as a possible sanction as the SEC searches for a stronger deterrent to field storming than six-figure fines.
A conference working group on event safety was appointed by commissioner Greg Sankey last November—less than three weeks after Tennessee fans tore down the goalposts following a victory over Alabama and just a day before LSU fans flooded the Tiger Stadium field to revel in an upset of the Crimson Tide. The working group, headed by Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne, Georgia AD Josh Brooks and Kentucky AD Mitch Barnhart, has been gathering input and weighing options for several months.The premise of losing a future SEC home game is just one of the policy changes that has been discussed by the working group. An even more drastic one—forfeiture of the game in which the field storm occurred—is unlikely to gain much traction. But there is general agreement that something more needs to be done beyond hitting schools in their fat wallets.
I'm sick and damn tired of these asshole administrators trying to suck the fun out of college football. Who is voting for this bullshit?
This proposal makes a bit more sense when you read that the group suggesting it is headed by the athletic directors at Alabama and Georgia — the SEC teams most likely to be the defeated opponent preceding a field storming — as well as Kentucky, which will never have to worry about winning a big enough game for its fans to storm the field. So getting three straight home games against Tennessee or LSU sounds like a pretty good consolation prize for losing a game if you're Alabama.
I want to see a vote of the 12 SEC schools excluding Bama and UGA on this issue, because I simply refuse to believe the rest of the league is committed to taking this level of action for field storming. It's one of the things that makes college football the best sport in the world and it means the most important marketing branch of your school just got a huge win. Let the fans have some fun.
University of Tennessee president Randy Boyd said after UT's win over Alabama that he didn't care how much the fine from the SEC would be and that he'd be willing to pay it every year. I have an inkling most other administrators in the league would say the same thing if you promised them a win over the Tide.
Stop trying to make college football worse. It is nearly perfect as it is. All we've asked for years is to have some common sense implemented into the targeting rule and instead we're getting this nonsense.