PULLMAN – Beating the country’s fifth-ranked college football team came at a price for Washington State – $25,000 to be exact.
That’s how much the Pac-12 Conference chose to fine WSU for rushing the field following the 30-27 upset of USC Friday night at Martin Stadium. An official from the Pac-12, and one from WSU, confirmed the fine to The Spokesman-Review Monday evening.
Fans were already crawling over the walls in Pullman by the time a public address annoncer reminded them to stay off the field following the game. Within minutes, thousands of spectators had planted themselves onto the turf.
The fee could’ve been twice as much had the conference chosen to levy a fine three weeks ago when WSU fans emptied onto the turf after a 33-30 triple-overtime win over Boise State.
Stressing the safety of both student-athletes and spectators, Pac-12 higher-ups introduced a penalty structure in May for field rushing and court storming, imposing a $25,000 fine for the first offense, a $50,000 fine for the second offense and a $100,000 fine for the third offense.
“This enhanced policy underscores the importance our universities place on the safety and welfare of our student-athletes, officials and fans, and will allow us to educate staffs and fans on procedures going forward,” Cal Athletic Director Mike Williams said in a Pac-12 news release.
Waves of WSU supporters left their seats for a chance to celebrate on the turf with Cougars players Friday evening, but at least one fan realized how dangerous that can be. A video posted by Cougfan.com showed a USC player violently knocking a field-rusher to the turf moments after the game ended. Pullman Police will investigate a potential assault case for the Trojans player – unidentifiable in the video – who was responsible, according to Pullman Radio News.
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