KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Ole Miss football team has been fined $100,000 for not following the SEC’s COVID-19 protocols, school officials confirmed to the Clarion (Mississippi) Ledger.
Sports Illustrated first reported that the fine will be taken in the form of a reduction in conference revenue. Tennessee and Texas AM also were hit with fines, according to SI.
Volunteers coach Jeremy Pruitt drew attention during Tennessee’s 44-21 loss at Georgia for wearing a gaiter that covered every part of his face except his mouth and nose.
Sports Illustrated reported the fines are largely based on “sideline mask-wearing behavior from coaches, support staff members, strength staffers, etc.”
Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin reported earlier this week that there was a small COVID-19 outbreak within the team.
Ole Miss is scheduled to play Arkansas in Fayetteville on Saturday. Kiffin said earlier this week that the game can still be played based off the number of players Ole Miss has available.
“I said Monday in our first meeting that this just got real,” Kiffin said. “Any time you talk about things, it doesn’t hit home until it happens to you. Now, they’re seeing it.”
Despite the league’s policies and precautions set at schools, the virus has been a problem for the SEC.
It was announced Wednesday that Alabama coach Nick Saban and athletics director Greg Byrne tested positive for COVID-19. After several negative tests, Alabama announced Saturday that Saban had cleared protocols and would coach against Georgia. The first test, now considered a false positive, was handled by an outside lab.
It also was announced this week that this weekend’s scheduled games between Missouri and Vanderbilt and LSU and Florida have been postponed due to COVID-19 issues.
Contributing: Nick Suss, Joshua Capers, the Clarion Ledger