Tennessee Bans 16 Students, 9 Fans from Games for Throwing Trash vs. Ole Miss

Erin WalshOctober 29, 2021

KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE - AUGUST 31: A block with the Tennessee Volunteers logo on the sideline during the third quarter of the season opener at Neyland Stadium on August 31, 2019 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Silas Walker/Getty Images)
Silas Walker/Getty Images

The University of Tennessee banned 16 students from all athletic events through the spring sports season for throwing objects onto the field during a 31-26 loss to No. 10 Ole Miss on Oct. 16, school leaders announced Friday, per Becca Wright of the Knoxville News Sentinel

Nine fans who aren't students were also banned. 

The school was fined $250,000 for littering the field, Wright added.

Volunteers fans trashed the Neyland Stadium field after Ole Miss' game-clinching defensive stop with 54 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. 

Tight end Jacob Warren was ruled a yard short of the first down on 4th-and-24, and the call stood after video review. Fans began throwing trash and debris after the call was announced. 

Karthik Venkataraman @KarthikV_

An embarrassing way to end this sellout in Neyland Stadium. Fans throw trash onto the field and postpone the game for quite some time after a controversial fourth down call in the fourth quarter. <a href="https://t.co/lr9md1uraN">pic.twitter.com/lr9md1uraN</a>

Rebels head coach Lane Kiffin was hit with a golf ball, and play was stopped for more than 15 minutes as the debris had to be cleared off the field.  

Volunteers athletic director Danny White sent an email to SEC commissioner Greg Sankey on Friday outlining ways the school plans to prevent similar incidents in the future, per Wright.

Changes that will be implemented for Tennessee's home game against Georgia on Nov. 13 include prohibiting student guest tickets, increasing police and security staff in the student section, adding enhanced metal detectors and adding more signs and announcements warning against misconduct. 

Students will also be required to agree to the SEC and Tennessee fan codes of conduct. In addition, Tennessee is considering adding more video cameras, adding more game-day staff and reconfiguring how students enter the stadium to minimize lines.  

Tennessee is 4-4 on the season and hasn't won a game since an Oct. 9 victory over South Carolina. The Volunteers have had several disappointing seasons in recent years and haven't had a winning season since 2019.