SEC hits South Carolina basketball with hefty fine after fans storm court following upset win over Kentucky

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The Southeastern Conference responded to South Carolina students and fans’ decision to storm the basketball court on Tuesday after the Gamecocks upset the sixth-ranked Kentucky Wildcats.

South Carolina will now have to pay a $100,000 fine for the fans’ actions in the moments following the thrilling 79-62 victory. The win marked the first time in 14 years that the Gamecocks basketball program defeated an opponent ranked No. 6 or higher at home.

The SEC adopted more fines at its meetings last spring. A first offense now results in a fine of $100,000, a second $250,000, while subsequent offenses will cost $500,000.

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South Carolina players celebrate with students

Gamecocks guard Ta’Lon Cooper celebrates with students after beating the Kentucky Wildcats at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, South Carolina, on Jan. 23, 2024. (Jeff Blake-USA Today Sports)

Following the adoption of the new rules, every SEC school was essentially given a clean slate. The Gamecocks were considered first-time offenders and, as a result, the school was hit with the $100,000 fine.

SHIRTLESS TULANE FAN SHOVES MEMPHIS BASKETBALL PLAYER AFTER STORMING COURT IN WILD SCENE

Fans quickly burst through the yellow rope line when the game ended. Among those celebrating on the court were women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley and several members of her team. Staley is a six-time WNBA All-Star and has led South Carolina’s women’s basketball to seven SEC tournament championships.

South Carolina players celebrate after a game

South Carolina Gamecocks forward Collin Murray-Boyles joins the celebration after beating the Kentucky Wildcats at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, on Jan. 23, 2024. (Jeff Blake-USA Today Sports)

Staley also coached the Gamecocks to a pair of NCAA Division I Tournament championships. 

Former university president Harris Pastides was also spotted celebrating on the hardwood. Pastides shared a post to social media saying he had to pay a fine during his tenure after big wins.

“This time it was free for me so I joined the crowd,” he wrote.

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Storming the court has come under scrutiny since Iowa star Caitlin Clark was run into and knocked to the ground by a fan at Ohio State celebrating the Buckeyes’ win over the Hawkeyes last week.

Kentucky players were able to leave the court in a relatively quick fashion and no player-related incidents were reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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