Texas Tech Hit With $50,000 Fine. I Thought Public Reprimands Were a Bob Bowlsby Thing?
In all honesty, Texas Tech earned a fine of $50,000 after multiple incidents of players getting shoved on the field after the game. Because of that, the Big 12 released details of the fine on Monday, along with the dreaded "public reprimand."
That being said...
Storming the field in college football is one of those things that conference leaders have to say is illegal for plausible deniability, but love when it happens because of the content it generates.
Need proof? Look no further than ESPN and the Big 12 Conference's official Twitter both sharing videos of the field storming at Jones AT&T Stadium this weekend.
So the storming is good on TV, but bad in person?
"In accordance with the Big 12 Conference Principles and Standards of Sportsmanship, the Conference has issued a public reprimand and $50,000 fine of Texas Tech University for the field storming incident that occurred at the conclusion of Saturday’s overtime victory against Texas."
I agree that the pushing incident that's been publicized is bad. But can we come up with new verbiage other than "public reprimand" for what's going on here? That was one of my least favorite things from the Bowlsby era, and I thought new commissioner Brett Yormark might have a little more power in his approach.
Sure, a $50,000 fine is certainly a statement after previous fines of $25,000, but if storming the field is illegal, say that it is and don't encourage it to happen by sharing videos on your account.
Besides, the Big 12 Conference fining a team is just a show anyways. The conference is going to pay Texas Tech more than $30 million at the end of the season. Put it on Texas Tech's tab, Yormark. And keep the tab open, because I hope Texas Tech fans get to rush the field against Baylor and Oklahoma, too.
I'm not going to victim blame the UT players who got pushed and say they had an opportunity to leave the field and didn't do so promptly. Even if they'd been running laps after the game for being losers, Texas Tech fans should have avoided contact. At a certain point though, if you're going to allow field storming, there's a gray area of accountability:
'We have a duty to provide a safe game environment,' said Big 12 Conference Commissioner Brett Yormark. '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.'
I don't know what it looks like to have an opposing team leave the field before getting rushed and I'm sure there's something more that Texas Tech can do, but the university also can't control what a person does in the stadium. There are streakers, fights, and public intoxication in every stadium in America. That doesn't mean every sports fan is a piece of trash.
Yormark's statement continues with some window dressing about zero tolerance and student-athlete safety:
'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.'
Fine Texas Tech, but this public reprimand stuff is so hollow when there are highlight packages from TV networks and conferences that celebrate fans storming the field.
One of the most watched videos ever on the official Big 12 Conference YouTube channel is Kansas State beating Oklahoma and Wildcats fans rushing the field. Is promoting this showing "zero tolerance"?
Fine Texas Tech, give your public reprimand, and hope for another big upset next week.
That's the Big 12 way.