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Alabama Athletic Director Advocates for Harsher Penalties for Field Rushing

Alabama Athletic Director Greg Byrne has been advocating for harsher penalties for field rushing after opposing fans rush the field following Alabama’s losses. Byrne, along with Georgia AD Josh Brooks and Kentucky AD Mitch Barnhart, has been part of a working group that aims to curb the problem. Currently, the penalties are financial, with costs rising from $50,000 for a first offense, $100,000 for the second, and $250,000 for each occurrence thereafter. However, Byrne believes that fines do not work, and there should be more creative ways to impose penalties.

The SEC is considering alternative penalties, including an offending school losing an SEC home game. However, Byrne said that specific proposal hasn’t gained much traction in the room. SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said that the league wants to send a clear signal that they want to reduce, if not eliminate, field rushing or court storming. Byrne has found allies in Barnhart and Brooks, with Kentucky having to deal with court stormings in road losses. Alabama is one of four SEC schools that has never been fined for a field rush.

While field rushing can be a joyous scene for schools that score big upsets, it can also create some scary situations, especially for the losing team’s staff. Byrne believes that there should be steps taken to address the issue, and it depends on what side of the coin you’re on. Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel says that there are multiple factors to consider, and there’s a safety issue when trying to stop everybody from storming the field. The SEC will announce any new bylaws or changes after its presidents and chancellors meet together.

Keywords: Alabama, field rushing, SEC, penalties, fines, safety issue.

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