The policy 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 imposes financial penalties for violations in all sports sponsored by the SEC 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. If an institution is penalized and subsequently does not have a violation for a period of three years from the date of the last violation, that subsequent violation shall be considered a second offense.
South Carolina has incurred fines for violations of the policy on two other occasions, but more than three years have passed since the last violation in January of 2010.
“This policy is designed to ensure a safe environment for everyone who participates and attends our athletic events,” said SEC commissioner Mike Slive. “The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, officials and fans are the top priority.”
The league’s access to competition area policy went into effect on December 1, 2004.