BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Oct. 21) – The Southeastern Conference announced today that University of Kentucky will be fined $25,000 for a violation of the league's access to competition area policy.
The policy, which went into effect on Dec. 1, 2004, states that "access to competition areas shall be limited to participating student-athletes, coaches, officials, support personnel and properly-credentialed individuals at all times. 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. It is the responsibility of each member institution to implement procedures to ensure compliance with this policy"
The violation occurred following Kentucky's 31-28 win over South Carolina on Oct. 16 when fans entered the competition area of Commonwealth Stadium.
The policy, approved by all 12 SEC institutions, imposes financial penalties for violations in all sports, at the discretion of the Commissioner. Institutional penalties range from $5,000 for a first offense to fines of up to $25,000 for a second offense and up to $50,000 for a third and subsequent offenses. If an institution is penalized and subsequently does not have a violation for a period of three years from the date of the last violation, that subsequent violation shall be considered a second offense.
Kentucky's last violation of the access to competition area policy occurred on Oct. 13, 2007 following Kentucky's 43-37 victory against LSU. Its other violations occurred on Nov. 4, 2006 (football) and Sept. 15, 2007 (football).
"This policy is designed to create a safe environment for everyone who participates and attends our athletic contests," said Slive. "The security and protection of our student-athletes, coaches, officials and fans is our primary concern."