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Vandy Gets Fined Big Bucks for Rushing Court

The Southeastern Conference, an ahtletic conference known for trying to keep fans off of the playing field at all costs, has punished Vanderbilt pretty heavily for their fans' action on Saturday.

Following the Commodores' 83-70 win over the Gators in Nashville on Saturday, Vanderbilt fans were allowed to rush onto the court -- an action that has caused the school to be fined $25,000.

The $25,000 fine is a result of a second offense of the policy. Vanderbilt's first offense occurred on March 21, 2005 when fans entered the competition area following the Commodores 65-63 National Invitation Tournament win over Wichita State.

"This policy is designed to create a safe environment for everyone who participates and attends our athletic contests," SEC commissioner Mike Slive said. "The security and protection of our student-athletes, coaches, officials and fans is our primary concern."

I'd expect to see the University beef up their security if this was a possibility in the future -- at least that's what the SEC would want them to do.

My opinion?  Fine 'em even more.  Rushing the court is a pretty silly tradition if you ask me.  It's become stale after overuse, and I totally wouldn't mind it going away.  Fans, coaches and players could all get hurt, and have in the past.

And with that in mind, stories have surfaced that Brandon Powell had an altercation with a Vandy fan following the game.  And of course we all remember Matt Walsh and his run-in with Georgia fans a few years back.

"It looked like he kind of got pushed from behind, not intentionally, I don't think anyone was trying to hurt anybody, and then kind of got hit from the front and used his hands to defend himself and get out of there," (Billy) Donovan said.

"I think that issue is not really a Florida issue. I think it's a Vanderbilt issue, it's a Vanderbilt administrative issue. Not our homecourt. Not what we're in charge of. I think it's Vanderbilt's responsibility that we as an opposing team get to and from the court safely and it's an unfortunate situation and they have to deal with that."

Hopefully the right actions are taken to punish Brandon Powell if it is deemed that he went over the line.  However, in that chaos, I'd probably react the same way if fans were closing in on me from all sides.  Which is just another reason why rushing the court is dangerous, as well as out-dated.