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College Football World Reacts To Tennessee Football Punishment

A closeup of a Tennessee Volunteers football helmet.

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 01: A detailed view of a helmet worn by the Tennessee Volunteers before their game against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Bank of America Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

An ugly scene unfolded at Neyland Stadium in the closing moments of last Saturday's Ole Miss-Tennessee game. A not-so-severe punishment has been enforced, as a result.

Tennessee fans caused a game delay last Saturday night when hundreds of fans threw objects onto the field. It was a chaotic scene. Even Volunteers cheerleaders had to leave the field due to safety concerns.

The SEC has fined the University of Tennessee $250,000 for fan behavior during the Ole Miss game on Saturday night.

"The @SEC announced Monday that Tennessee will be assessed a financial penalty and must meet requirements set forth by the Commissioner following interruption of its Oct. 16 football game with Ole Miss due to fans throwing debris on to the field," the conference announced.

This is a weak punishment by the SEC. A $250,000 fine is the same price an SEC school pays for fans rushing the field after a big win. Think about that. Sure, the University of Tennessee had nothing to do with fan behavior on Saturday night. But the SEC and commissioner Greg Sankey could have issued a far worse punishment that could have served as an example. Do better, SEC. This is a pretty embarrassing all around.

Despite the underwhelming punishment, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey's statement on the matter certainly dropped the hammer on the Volunteers.

“The Conference has established expectations for behavior and sportsmanship, and the actions of fans at Saturday night’s game were unacceptable under any circumstances,” SEC Commissioner Greg Stankey said in a statement late Saturday night. “We are accustomed to intense competition every week, but under no circumstances is it acceptable to endanger the contest participants and disrupt the game.”

Sankey is saying all the right things, but his latest act proves otherwise.