BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Feb. 19) – The Southeastern Conference announced today that Vanderbilt University will be fined $25,000 for its second 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 policy, approved by all 12 SEC institutions, imposes financial penalties for violations in the sports of football, men's and women's basketball, 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.
The violation occurred following Vanderbilt's 83-70 win over Florida on Feb. 17 when fans entered the competition area of Memorial Gymnasium.
The $25,000 fine is a result of a second offense of the policy. Vanderbilt's first offense occurred on March 21, 2005 when fans entered the competition area following the Commodores 65-63 National Invitation Tournament win over Wichita State.
"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."