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SEC considering drastic new punishments to deter fans from storming the field, report says

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BATON ROUGE - The Southeastern Conference is mulling harsher punishments for teams whose fans rush the field after a win, including possibly relocating the site of a future home game.

According to Sports Illustrated, that proposal is among the many ideas being considered by a group assembled by SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey in the weeks after LSU rushed the field twice in the 2022 season, first against Ole Miss and again just weeks later after upsetting Alabama. In that same timeframe, Tennessee made headlines when their fans rushed the field after a close win over the Crimson Tide and tore down a goal post. 

"Being able to storm the field of your favorite team is definitely a lifelong dream as a fan," LSU junior James Schlottman said.

"It's a once in a lifetime experience, I know we did it twice this year but every time it felt like a lifetime," LSU senior Enrique Gorrondona said. 

The possibility of these new penalties have business owners concerned. Football season brings tons of revenue to Baton Rouge.

"Everything that's around here counts on these home games. When you take that away you're hurting the people that aren't responsible for storming the field," Pastime Restaurant owner Randy Wesley said.

Students also think the penalties are too harsh, especially for underclassmen who may miss out on three years of a Saturday night SEC matchup in Death Valley.

"I definitely think there should be some kind of penalty, don't get me wrong. I think having something more lenient than long term, taking away a home game, I feel that's a bit unjust," Schlottman said. 

Other measures, including the forfeiture of a game in which the field is stormed, are being considered but are much less likely to be adopted, the report said.

Options for the revamped safety policy are likely to be advanced and presented before conference chancellors and presidents at the SEC spring meetings in May. Changes could be approved in time for the 2023-2024 season. 

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