Neyland Stadium security increasing in wake of Ole Miss disruptions

Tennessee Vols

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The University of Tennessee has released a series of security measures that will be put in place at Neyland Stadium in the wake of the trash-throwing incident at the conclusion of the Ole Miss game which caused a 20-minute delay and cost the school $250,000 in fines.

Tennessee leadership released a series of security recommendations that will be put in place immediately as well as several future safety considerations. Additionally, the university is investigating 16 reports of students involved with throwing objects on the field and 9 nonstudent attendees have been notified they are ineligible to attend any Tennessee athletics events for the remainder of the 2021-22 academic and athletic year.

Student guest tickets for the Nov. 13 Georgia game will be prohibited. Additional security personnel will be positioned throughout the student seating sections, including three per aisle, wearing high-visibility shirts.

Police presence will be increased in the portal areas near the student seating sections along with enhanced metal detectors at student gates.

Bottle caps will be removed from beverages in some concession stands.

All students purchasing tickets will be required to commit to following the UT and SEC Fan Code of Conduct. Signage encouraging sportsmanship and reporting misconduct will be posted in the stadium as well as in-game public address announcements will be made.

In a letter to SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey, athletics director Danny White said an internal review determined the in-venue alcohol service plan for Neyland Stadium was in compliance with the SEC’s game management policy on alcohol.

Future considerations will include a general admission seating process for student seating, evaluating potential technology and camera system upgrades, developing a plan to redesign queueing lines at the student gates and reviewing the overall game day and staffing plan.

“While we have been clear in expressing that the conduct of several in attendance on Oct. 16 was unacceptable, Chancellor (Donde) Plowman and I also maintain that such disruptive behavior does not represent our fanbase as a whole. We believe the Southeastern Conference standard of sportsmanship aligns with our university’s Volunteer values, and we are confident that the recommendations outlines in our action plan will effectively aid in the prevention of future incidents.”

Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Danny White

With just 54 seconds left in the contest, the Oct. 16 game against Ole Miss was delayed roughly 20 minutes as fans threw trash onto the field and caused Tennessee cheerleaders and band members to vacate the field. The game eventually resumed and the Vols had a last-second chance to win the game but lost 31-26.

Anyone found to have engaged in misconduct at the game will not be eligible to attend any Tennessee athletics events for the remainder of the 2021-22 academic and athletic year.

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