The University of Tennessee has banned 25 fans from all athletic events through the spring sports season for throwing objects onto the field during an Oct. 16 football game against Ole Miss at Neyland Stadium.
As reported by the Knoxville News Sentinel, in addition to banning 16 students and nine others, the university also promised the Southeastern Conference that it is working to prevent future disruptions like the one that played out in front of a national audience. The game was stopped when fans threw water bottles and garbage toward the Ole Miss sideline. Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin was reportedly struck by a golf ball.
In a letter sent Friday to SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, UT athletics director Danny White outlined steps the university is taking to “effectively aid in the prevention of future incidents” now and in the future.
Changes that will be implemented immediately:
- Prohibit student guest tickets for the Nov. 13 game versus Georgia.
- Increase police and security staffers in the student section.
- Require students who request tickets to agree to the SEC and UT fan codes of conduct.
- Remove bottle caps at certain vending booths.
- Add "enhanced” metal detectors.
- Add more signs and PA announcements warning against misconduct.
Future considerations include:
- Adding more video cameras.
- Considering the addition of more gameday staff.
- Reconfiguring how students enter the stadium to minimize lines at stadium gates.
There were 18 arrests and 51 ejections on Oct. 16, a UT Police Department spokesperson told the News Sentinel, as the mayhem continued outside the stadium. The SEC will withhold $250,000 from Tennessee's share of conference revenues.