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Vols litter field in 31-26 loss to Ole Miss causing delay; SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey issues statement

Vols litter field in 31-26 loss to Ole Miss causing delay; SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey issues statement

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — After the Volunteers came up one yard short on a fourth-and-24 play, the Tennessee crowd reacted by showering the field and the Ole Miss sideline with trash and other debris.

Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin was hit on the elbow by a golf ball, as well as bottles “with some brown stuff in them,” he said. “I don’t think it was moonshine. I don’t think they’d waste the moonshine on me,” Kiffin said in the postgame press conference.

The game was halted for approximately 20 minutes, and during that time the Tennessee band, drill team, and cheerleaders all exited the stadium for safety reasons.

After the game, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey issued a statement:

Statement from SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey on the Ole Miss-Tennessee game

The Conference has established expectations for behavior and sportsmanship, and the actions of fans at Saturday night’s game were unacceptable under any circumstances. We are accustomed to intense competition every week, but under no circumstances is it acceptable to endanger the contest participants and disrupt a game. We will review existing Conference policies and the Commissioner’s authority to impose penalties and communicate with the leadership at the University of Tennessee — and all of the SEC’s member universities — to make certain this situation is not repeated.

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey

Kiffin seemed to take all the mayhem in stride.

“The majority of (Tennessee fans) were actually really good, especially early in warmups,” Kiffin said.

I think it was more students that were 8 or something when we were here before or whatever. Early on, going out there, I thought it was a different reception. I think that’s one of the most passionate fan bases in America. You get 100,000 of them together and things don’t go their way and a lot of energy is going, they got upset, I don’t know.

Lane Kiffin on the Vols’ fans behavior

(Feature image credit: Knoxville Sentinel)

About The Author

Evelyn Van Pelt

Evelyn has covered sports for over two decades, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn's love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship--and continued as she watched Katie receive three degrees from Ole Miss, culminating with her Pharm D. in 2012. Evelyn, a member of the FWAA, USBWA and the NCBWA, has covered Rebel sports for numerous outlets. In addition to working for The Rebel Walk, Evelyn is a sports writer for a newspaper in Texas.

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