Unleashing 26 seasons of frustration with a jubilant, on-field celebration will end up costing Kentucky some Big Blue dollars.
The SEC fined the school $50,000 on Wednesday for a violation of the league's "access to competition area" policy after fans stormed the field Saturday after the Wildcats defeated Tennessee for the first time since 1984. Kentucky received the maximum fine for such a transgression because it was the Wildcats' fifth offense since 2006.
The crowd converged on the 50-yard line shortly after UT quarterback Tyler Bray's late interception sealed the Wildcats' 10-7 victory. The crowd was relatively peaceful and did not linger long before security guards ushered it out of Commonwealth Stadium.
The rule, though, had been broken.
"Access to competition areas shall be limited to participating student-athletes, coaches, officials, support personnel and properly-credentialed individuals at all times," states the rule, which was adopted in 2004. "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."
Kentucky fans stormed the field last year after an upset victory over South Carolina and also after victories against Louisville (2007), LSU (2007) and Georgia (2006).