Here's a fine Texas A&M is surely happy to pay.
The Aggies pulled off the upset of the college football season on Saturday, stunning No. 1 Alabama, 41-38 to hand the Crimson Tide its first loss since 2019. The win shook up the top of the playoff race and was cause for mass celebration in College Station.
An on-field party cost the school six figures.
Fans at Kyle Field poured down from the stands and onto the playing surface after the play clock hit zero to celebrate the school's biggest-ever SEC win.
— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) October 10, 2021
On Monday, the SEC fined Texas A&M $100,000. The penalty is in accordance with the league's "access to competition area policy" that prohibits fans from rushing the field of play:
"Access to competition areas shall be limited to participating student-athletes, coaches, officials, support personnel and properly credentialed individuals at all times," the policy reads. "For the safety of participants and spectators alike, at no time before during or after a contest shall spectators be permitted to enter the competition area."
SEC holds schools responsible for fan behavior
What exactly is Texas A&M supposed to do when fans at the 100,000-plus seat Kyle Field want to storm the turf? That's not exactly clear. But the SEC makes clear that each school's athletic department is responsible when it happens.
"It is the responsibility of each member institution to implement procedures to ensure compliance with this policy," the policy reads.
Saturday's was Texas A&M's second violation, which comes with an automatic $100,000 penalty, per the policy's escalating fine system. The SEC cited a 2018 game against LSU as the school's first offense. That field storming was prompted by a 74-72 win over the No. 7 Tigers that took seven overtimes to settle.
Texas A&M isn't the first SEC school to be hit with a six-figure fine this season. Kentucky was docked $250,000 last week after a home upset of Florida prompted an on-field party. It was Kentucky's third violation of the policy, hence the higher fine. The SEC also fined Arkansas $100,000 in September after fans rushed the field following a win over Texas.
The fine money goes to an SEC post-graduate scholarship fund.