Ole Miss will be fined $250K next time fans storm the field

first_imgVaught-Hemingway StadiumVaught-Hemingway StadiumOXFORD – The next time Ole Miss fans storm the field at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, it will cost the school a quarter of a million dollars. The Southeastern Conference announced new – and much harsher — field-storming rules on Friday at the league’s annual spring meetings. Per the new policy, first-time field storming offenders will be slapped with a $50,000 fine. Schools will pay $100,000 for a second offense and $250,000 for third-time and any other subsequent offenses.Previously, the league rules gave out a $5,000 fine for the first offense, $25,000 for the second and $50,000 for the third. The penalties would also reset after three years. No more. Ole Miss had to write a $50,000 check to the SEC last October, when its fans committed their third offense and stormed the field after the Rebels beat then-No. 3 Alabama. Schools don’t get a blank slate with the new rules, so the Rebels would have to fork over the full $250,000 if it happens again.“This is designed to be a deterrent,” SEC commissioner Mike Slive told reporters in Destin, Fla. “This is designed to try to change the culture about rushing the field, understanding that it’s viewed by some as a tradition. But it’s a tradition that runs into the question of health and safety of not only the fans themselves but the coaches and players.”Of course, the Rebels didn’t have to dip into their own pockets to pay the fine last season. On top of the $50,000 fine, the fans ripped down the goalposts, which cost an estimated $11,000 each to replace — bringing the total to $75,000. Ole Miss set up a fundraiser website, which brought in more than $80,000 in donations. Kentucky, LSU and South Carolina were also fined last year. “It’s just a way of sending a message. It’s a way of communicating to the conference that this is serious,” Slive told ESPN.com. “And the money is serious.”Slive also added that the commissioner may also levy “additional penalties” on top of the $250,000 fine for third-time offenses if he feels they’re necessary.last_img read more