Tennessee fans received well-deserved condemnation after things turned ugly in the waning moments of the Vols’ home loss to Ole Miss on Saturday.
There have been calls for penalties after the crowd hurled debris on the field, including cans, bottles and a golf ball that was retrieved by Mississippi coach Lane Kiffin. In the midst of the mayhem, even cheerleaders and the band members scampered from the field.
The game had to be delayed for about 20 minutes, with 54 seconds left on the clock. The field began to be littered with items after Tennessee was stopped short of a first down on a fourth-down play, and fans took exception to the call.
Ole Miss cheerleaders also reportedly were hit by some items. Players and coaches were sent to the middle of the field.
Southeastern Conference commissioner Greg Sankey issued a statement calling the action of fans “unacceptable under any circumstances. We are accustomed to intense competition every week, but under no circumstances is it acceptable to endanger the contest participants and disrupt a game.”
He added that the league would review the situation and could impose penalties against Tennessee.
The response was quick and pointed in some quarters. Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports wrote that Tennessee has a reputation of having the worst fan base in college football with a “rich history of collective classlessness.”
The abuse hurled at Kiffin, who previously coached the Vols, continued when he left the field after the game and was verbally assaulted while more items flew from the stands, according to media reports.
Tennessee chancellor Donde Plowman contacted her counterpart at Ole Miss to apologize. She also went to Twitter to express her displeasure, writing “Good sportsmanship must be part of who we are as Volunteers. Behavior that puts student athletes, coaches, visitors and other fans at risk is not something we will tolerate.”
Kiffin held onto the golf ball that nearly struck him. He was hit with bottles that he said contained “some brown stuff.”
“I don’t think those fans would waste moonshine,” he said. “You’ve got one of the most passion fans bases in America. A call didn’t go their way.”
Orgeron out at LSU
Louisiana State and coach Ed Orgeron have agreed to part ways after this season, 21 months after he led the Tigers to a national championship with what is considered one of the greatest teams in college football history.
“We have very high standards for all of our sports programs at LSU, and we will stand proudly behind our expectations of competing for SEC and national championships year in and year out,” athletics director Scott Woodward said Sunday night. “Our last two seasons have simply not met that standard, and based on our on-field results and our evaluation of the potential for future immediate success, it is time for a new direction.”
Sports Illustrated was first to report that Orgeron would not return to LSU in 2022.
While the timing of the announcement — the day after the Tigers (4-3) upset Florida — came as a surprise, the end for Orgeron seemed to be approaching after a blowout loss to Kentucky last week.
The Tigers are 2-2 in the Southeastern Conference after starting the season ranked No. 16. The win over Florida at home Saturday made LSU 9-8 since beating Clemson in New Orleans for the national championship on Jan. 13, 2020.
His downfall reflects the pressure to win in the SEC. Orgeron has a 49-17 record with LSU.
Who’s No. 2?Cincinnati moved to No. 2 in the AP poll this week after another runaway win, this one by 35 points over Central Florida. But the coaches’ poll continued to give Oklahoma the edge over the Bearcats despite a less impressive list of results.
Before beating Texas Christian by three touchdowns Saturday, the Sooners had five wins against FBS opponents by an average of less than one touchdown. They struggled at home against Tulane, Nebraska and West Virginia, but did beat Texas.
Cincinnati, meanwhile, has won its six games by an average of 30 points and defeated No. 13 Notre Dame 24-13 after disposing of once highly regarded Indiana.
McKendree explodes lateMcKendree’s tough season appeared to be ready to add another loss before the Bearcats scored for 30 points in the fourth quarter to pull out a 51-48 win on the road over Quincy in a Great Lakes Valley Conference game.
McKendree completed the comeback with a 39-yard field goal by Ryan Kastl with 29 seconds left. That came after an interception by freshman Ethan Young (Edwardsville).
Quincy led 31-7 early in the third quarter. McKendree quarterback Turner Pullen made up for a shaky first half, which included three interceptions, by throwing for a career-high 358 yards and four touchdowns.
McKendree is 3-4.
The Associated Press contributed to this report