SEC: Say goodbye to alcohol sales during Ole Miss games if changes aren’t enacted

Published 6:23 pm Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Conference not suspending alcohol sales privileges for Ole Miss, but they might if changes aren’t made

The Southeastern Conference announced Oct. 4 that the University of Mississippi will be assessed a financial penalty and must meet requirements set forth by the commissioner following interruption of its Sept. 30 football game with Louisiana State University due to fans throwing debris on to the field.

A portion of the fourth quarter of the LSU-Ole Miss football game was interrupted and delayed when some fans threw objects onto the playing field, interrupting the competitive opportunity for both teams and endangering contest participants.

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“The disruption and delay of Saturday night’s game must never be part of any SEC event,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. “These actions are consistent with the oversight assigned by the membership to the SEC office, including the financial penalty and mandated reviews.”

Under the sportsmanship, game management and alcohol availability policies established by the Southeastern Conference, the following will and must occur:

  • The University of Mississippi will be assessed a financial penalty of $75,000, which will be deducted from the university’s share of SEC revenue distribution.
  • The university will be required to use all available resources – including security, stadium and television video – to identify individuals who threw objects on to the playing field or at the opposing team. All individuals identified as having been involved in disrupting the game shall be prohibited from attending Ole Miss Athletics events for the remainder of the 2023-24 academic and athletic year.
  • The university shall review and update its athletics department game-management procedures and alcohol availability policies to prevent a recurrence of Saturday night’s disruption. This shall include an evaluation of agreed-upon SEC sportsmanship, game management and alcohol policies to verify full compliance with existing standards.
  • Following completion of this review, the university shall provide a report to the conference office to summarize its efforts to identify and penalize offenders and its plan to enact policies to prevent future similar incidents while ensuring compliance with conference standards.

The actions taken by the conference are consistent with SEC commissioner’s regulations related to the availability of alcoholic beverages at athletics events that states “[…i]f cans or plastic bottles are used as projectiles or otherwise cause game management issues, the institution is subject to an immediate fine and suspension of the alcohol sales privilege.”

The conference is not suspending alcohol sales privileges for the University of Mississippi at this time, but reserves the right to do so if other requirements outlined above are not met.