Southeastern Convention commissioner Greg Sankey says the league will evaluate the “unacceptable” scene that unfolded in the course of the closing minutes at Neyland Stadium on Saturday evening amid Tennessee’s 31-26 loss to No. 14 Ole Miss and contemplate imposing penalties.
Tennessee followers objected to referees ruling that the Vols’ fourth-down try late within the fourth quarter got here up a yard wanting a primary down, leading to a turnover on downs. Followers littered the sphere with particles in protest.
Water bottles and beer cans had been chucked onto the sphere. A fan threw a golf ball at Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin, who pocketed it. Even a bottle of mustard wound up on the sphere.
Tennessee’s cheerleaders, spirit squad and band exited the scene and sought cowl amid the chaos.
“The Convention has established expectations for conduct and sportsmanship, and the actions of followers at Saturday evening’s recreation had been unacceptable underneath any circumstances,” Sankey mentioned in an announcement.
“We’re accustomed to intense competitors each week, however on no account is it acceptable to hazard the competition members and disrupt a recreation. We’ll evaluate current Convention insurance policies and the Commissioner’s authority to impose penalties and talk with the management on the College of Tennessee — and all the SEC’s member universities — to make sure this case just isn’t repeated.”
UT-Knoxville Chancellor Donde Plowman tweeted after the sport that she was “astonished and sickened by the conduct of some Vol followers on the finish of tonight’s recreation.”
“Good sportsmanship should be a part of who we’re as Volunteers. Conduct that places student-athletes, guests and different followers in danger just isn’t one thing we’ll tolerate,” Plowman wrote.
The sport marked Tennessee’s first sellout because the 2017 season.
Kiffin coached Tennessee for one season in 2009 earlier than departing in January 2010 for a similar job at Southern Cal. He stays probably the most polarizing figures in Tennessee.
Kiffin had returned to Neyland Stadium twice beforehand as Alabama’s offensive coordinator, however Saturday marked his first return as an opposing head coach.
As Kiffin exited the sphere flanked by safety, extra objects had been thrown in his path, and he caught a water bottle out of the air with one hand.
However Kiffin mentioned the group’s response in all probability had as a lot to do with followers’ objections over the officiating because it did his presence.
“The vast majority of the folks had been really actually good, particularly early in warmups. I believe it was extra college students that had been 8 (years previous) or one thing once we had been right here earlier than or no matter,” Kiffin mentioned.
“Early on, going on the market, I believed it was a special reception. I believe that’s probably the most passionate fan bases in America. You get 100,000 of them collectively and issues don’t go their method and lot of vitality goes, they received upset, I don’t know.
“I’m undecided it wasn’t partly on the refs, too, as a result of they replayed the play, and I believe they’re watching his different hand, considering that they had a primary down. It’s what it’s.”
On the fourth-down play, Tennessee tight finish Jacob Warren stretched his proper hand ahead towards the first-down marker as his knee hit the bottom, however the ball was in his left hand, which was not prolonged.
The play was reviewed on replay, and the decision was upheld.
Blake Toppmeyer is an SEC Columnist for the USA TODAY Community. E mail him at BToppmeyer@gannett.com and observe him on Twitter @btoppmeyer.
This text initially appeared on Knoxville Information Sentinel: Tennessee followers throw trash on subject vs. Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss