Florida state senator looks to ban fans from storming the field

Florida state senator Corey Simon wants to make it illegal for fans to storm the field after a big win, in addition to throwing things at players and coaches on the field.

If Simon’s name sounds familiar, that’s because it is. Simon is a former Florida State University football player, where he played defensive line from 1996-1999 under the late Bobby Bowden. In the 2000 NFL draft, the Philadelphia Eagles drafted Simon with the No. 6 overall pick. His career ended in 2007 when he retired due to arthritis. He won a Super Bowl with the Indianapolis Colts but did not play in the game due to injury.

He began his political career in 2022, when he won the state senate seat in Florida’s third district, defeating Loranne Ausley. With his win, he became the first African-American Republican state senator in Florida since Reconstruction.

Simon’s proposal includes making field-storming a first-degree misdemeanor and punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. The bill’s origins go back to November 2022, when the Florida State Seminoles defeated the Florida Gators in front of 79,000-plus fans. After the win, fans stormed the field in celebration of the program’s first nine-win season in five years. Outside the state, Tennessee fans stormed the field after beating Alabama for the first time since 2006. Memorably, fans celebrated by tearing down the goalposts and depositing them in the Tennessee River.

The SEC has had a ban on field-storming since 2004. The punishment includes a $50,000 fine for a first offense, $100,000 for a second offense, and $250,000 for every offense after that. The money collected from the fines is then deposited into the SEC Post-Graduate Scholarship Fund.

The University of Florida has had moments where a select number of fans have approached the field of play, but never a moment as notable as the Tennessee situation last season. Simon’s proposal has not been assigned a committee hearing in the state senate.

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Story originally appeared on Gators Wire