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Feb. 18, 2005

The Southeastern Conference announced today that the University of South Carolina will be fined $5,000 for a violation of the league’s access to competition area policy.

The policy, which went into effect on Dec. 1, states that
“access to competition areas shall be limited to participating
student-athletes, coaches, officials, support personnel and
properly-credentialed individuals at all time. 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.”

The violation occurred following South Carolina’s 73-61 win
over No. 3 Kentucky on Feb. 15 as fans entered the competition area of the
Colonial Center.

“This policy is designed to create a safe environment for
everyone who participates and attends our athletic contests,” said
Slive. “I understand the exuberance of the moment but the security and
protection of our student-athletes, coaches, officials and fans is our
primary concern.”

The policy, approved by all 12 SEC institutions, imposes
financial penalties for violations in the sports of football, men’s and
women’s basketball, at the discretion of the Commissioner.
Institutional financial packages range from $5,000 for a first offense
to fines of up to $25,000 for a second offense and up to $50,000 for a
third and subsequent offense.

If South Carolina does not have a violation of this policy
for the next three years (prior to Feb. 15, 2008), the subsequent
violation shall be considered a second offense.


“The rule is the rule and we support the rule. We have addressed the situation and we will do a better job of keeping the students and the fans off the court from this point forwards.”