SEC fines university for first time since 2010
USC will have to pay the Southeastern Conference a $25,000 fine because fans stormed the court after the men’s basketball team beat then-No. 17 Kentucky over the weekend.
The SEC requires that universities keep their fans off the court — or field — during and after games. USC hasn’t broken that rule since January 2010, when the Gamecocks beat then-No. 1 Kentucky.
“This policy is designed to ensure a safe environment for everyone who participates and attends our athletic events,” SEC commissioner Mike Slive said in a statement. “The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, officials and fans are the top priority.”
Enough time has passed since then to reduce the SEC’s fine, but if the university breaks the rule in the next three years, it will face a $50,000 fine. Saturday marked the third time USC has been penalized since the rule was implemented in 2004.
Hundreds of fans ran onto the court of the Colonial Life Arena on Saturday after the 72-67 upset victory. It was the first time the team had beaten a ranked opponent since 2011.
Even USC President Harris Pastides got in on the action, running onto the court himself, he told a group of prospective students Sunday night.
“Once I realized I was paying [the fine] anyway, I ran down,” Pastides said. “I enjoyed every dollar.”