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Texas Tech Fined $50,000 for Students Storming Field

Sports

Students Storm Field at Texas Tech | Image by USA Today

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On Monday, the Big 12 Conference issued a public reprimand and announced that Texas Tech would be fined $50,000 for fans storming the field Saturday after the team’s upset 37-34 overtime win over Texas.

“We have a duty to provide a safe game environment,” Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark said in a statement. “The Texas Tech department of athletics has a written event management policy that, while well thought out, was unsuccessful in ensuring the safety and security of all visiting team student-athletes, officials, coaches and staff.”

The statement continued to note, “There is zero tolerance for any act that compromises the safety of game participants, and it is of utmost importance that home game management provide adequate security measures for our student-athletes, coaches, game officials and spectators.”

After the game, a video surfaced online showing a Tech fan shoving Texas linebacker Ovie Oghoufo from behind. Texas Tech issued a public appeal for information on the fan who pushed Oghoufo.

“There are dangerous situations when fans come on the field,” Texas coach Steve Sarkisian said. “I don’t blame them for rushing the field. That’s part of it when you get a victory like they got. But again, if we can find a better way for safety for everybody involved, then I think that’s a good thing.”

However, Texas Tech will not pay the fine. The school announced that City Bank, a longtime sponsor of Tech’s athletics programs, will cover the penalty.

“We are grateful for City Bank and their long-term support of Texas Tech Athletics,” director of athletics Kirby Hocutt said in a press release. “We have passionate fans including our great partners at City Bank and their president Cory Newsom.”

The release also states that Tech received “numerous questions about donations towards the fine.”

The Red Raiders went into the game Saturday unranked and considered underdogs against the then-No. 22 Longhorns, but they were able to come away with the win in overtime—leading to chaos on the field as fans poured out of the stands onto the field.

“We support Texas Tech in their effort to provide a safe and enjoyable gameday environment for everyone involved,” Cory T. Newsom, City Bank’s President and CEO said in the release. “We also recognize the level of excitement a victory over a longtime rival can have on the Texas Tech student body and fan base.”

Newsom went on to say, “We know that Kirby and the athletic department staff have a strong plan in place and will make any necessary adjustments to keep Jones Stadium a safe, but challenging place for our opponents to play. At the end of the day, we are proud of Texas Tech and proud supporters of our community.”

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