The Southeastern Conference announced Friday that it has created a working group on event security designed to review and improve strategies to prevent crowd incursions on playing fields and courts.
The announcement didn't prevent Louisiana State University fans from storming the field after the Tigers defeated Alabama by one point in overtime Saturday. It was the second time in as many home games that LSU incurred the SEC's $250,000 fine for multiple offenses.
"Current Conference policies need to be reviewed and improved with a focus on addressing field and court incursions by spectators after contests," SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in Friday's statement, as reported by CBS Sports. "The SEC's Working Group on Event Security will focus its efforts on reviewing existing policies, developing new strategies and identifying best practices to enhance crowd management and more effectively address field and court incursions at future SEC athletics events."
The goal of the group — to be made up of athletic directors, event management directors and campus security personnel — is to develop a proposal to be voted on at the league's spring meeting session in 2023.
"Providing consistent and appropriate levels of safety and security remains the common goal of SEC member institutions," Sankey said. "Our institutions remain current and vigilant in crowd control best practices and continue to work with local law enforcement to develop effective security protocols at SEC venues and we need to continue the adaptation of conference policies to address emerging realities."
The conference has had three instances of field-storming this year. In addition to the LSU episodes after wins against Mississippi on Oct. 22 and Alabama on Saturday (with a bye week in between), thousands of Tennessee fans covered the field at Neyland Stadium following the Volunteers' last-second, 52-49 win over Alabama on Oct. 15.
According to CBS Sports, the SEC's current access to competition area policy states that schools are docked $50,000 for the first offense, $100,000 for a second offense and $250,000 for every other instance after that. The new policy went into effect prior to the 2015-16 school year. Tennessee was fined $100,000 and LSU was fined $250,000 for their respective violations last month, with LSU receiving the same fine for its most recent policy violation.
Members of the working group include Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart, Georgia athletic director Josh Brooks, Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne, Florida assistant athletic director for game management Bryan Flood, Mississippi State associate athletics director for event and facility management Jay Logan, Texas A&M chief of police Mike Johnson and Auburn executive director of campus safety and security Kelvin King, CBS reported.