The SEC wasted no time penalizing South Carolina for its celebration after Tuesday night’s upset win over No. 6 Kentucky.
The SEC fined South Carolina $100,000 after Gamecocks fans stormed the court at Colonial Life Arena following the 79-62 win over the Wildcats. South Carolina led the entire second half and shut down 7-foot-2 Croatian phenom Zvonimir Ivišić to grab what was the biggest win against a top-10 team in program history.
Naturally, fans in Columbia rushed onto the court to celebrate.
— Gamecock Men's Basketball (@GamecockMBB) January 24, 2024
— Gamecock Athletics (@GamecocksOnline) January 24, 2024
The SEC has attempted to curb court storming in recent years. The league approved harsher fines last spring, and now hits schools with an automatic $100,000 fine for a first offense. Second offenses will lead to a $250,000 fine and all subsequent offenses cost schools $500,000. The Big 12 also fines schools — UCF was fined $25,000 earlier this month after beating Kansas — but not as severely.
While it’s a longstanding tradition in college sports, and all Kentucky players left the court without incident on Tuesday night, court storming has been called back into question in recent days week after a pair of incidents on Sunday.
A shirtless Tulane fan was seen on video pushing Memphis star David Jones during a court storm in New Orleans after the Green Wave knocked off the Tigers on Sunday. That came just after an Ohio State fan collided with Hawkeyes star Caitlin Clark following the Buckeyes’ win over No. 2 Iowa. Clark and the fan were both knocked to the ground hard, but Clark was OK after she was helped off the court.
— The Field of 68 (@TheFieldOf68) January 21, 2024
Though they’ve now got an expensive bill to pay, the Gamecocks likely won’t mind. They’re now 16-3, and seem well on track to be a solid NCAA tournament team come March. They’ll host Missouri next on Saturday before traveling to No. 5 Tennessee next week.