Auburn fined $250,000 after fans rush the field to celebrate Iron Bowl win

USA Today Sports 5 days ago

AUBURN — The late Rod Bramblett said those immortal words on Nov. 30, 2013. They were true again six years later, on Nov. 30, 2019.

"They're not going to keep 'em off the field tonight."

Auburn fans in a sellout Jordan-Hare Stadium flooded Pat Dye Field after Chris Davis' "Kick Six" to beat Alabama in the 2013 Iron Bowl. They did so again after the Tigers knocked off No. 1 for the second time in three weeks in 2017.

So there was little doubt as to what was going to happen when quarterback Bo Nix took the final knee to end Auburn's wild 48-45 victory over the Crimson Tide in the greatest rivalry in college football on Saturday — the floodgates behind the south end zone opened, and fans came pouring onto the field again.

The result, handed down by the SEC office in Birmingham on Monday, was a $250,000 fine. It's one Auburn will probably happily pay every other year if it has to.

"It’s real special any time our fans are down there with us, and of course, we’re fortunate it’s the third time. It’s a 'wow' feeling," Malzahn said. "Auburn is the Auburn family, and this game obviously is very important. Just happy that we could get a victory for our fans and they were just so huge. I mean, the place was going nuts the whole night. It wasn’t just the fourth quarter, and just a great environment. It was just really something to be a part of."

SEC rules state that "access to competition areas shall be limited to participating student-athletes, coaches, officials, support personnel and properly-credentialed individuals at all times. 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."

Fines for those infractions are $50,000 for the first offense, $100,000 for the second offense, and $250,000 for the third offense and beyond. Those fines are deposited into the SEC Post-Graduate Scholarship Fund.

Three Iron Bowl victories at Jordan-Hare Stadium in seven years (plus basketball's 2016 upset of Kentucky) have made Auburn a repeat offender.

Players certainly don't seem to mind, though.

Nix: "That’s the first time I’ve been on the field when it was rushed. It’s incredible. There’s a lot of people. But it goes to show you that there’s a lot of people cheering for you and wanting to see you succeed. I’m just thankful for the Auburn family. They really showed up for us today, and they were a huge contributor to the win.”

Wide receiver Sal Cannella: "That's so fun. I mean, we had all my closest boys were up there chillin' on top, over by the student section, standing up, just seeing everything, looking from a bird's-eye view up there. Everybody was crowding around. Everybody was hyped up. I mean, that's something I'll remember forever. I'll never forget that. Hopefully, I'll get some pictures from that. It was just unbelievable."

Linebacker K.J. Britt: "It’s fun but at the same time it’s kind of hectic, you know, everybody grabbing you. I think I took a bigger beating out there because I had my shoulders pads and people patting me on my back. I mean, I think one time a dude almost knocked me over. But it’s the greatest fans in college football. Do it again, man. Every year. I’ll do it every year. Every year."

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