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Tennessee coach, chancellor disavow fan behavior: 'Astonished and sickened'

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Tennessee football coach Josh Heupel and university chancellor Donde Plowman condemned fan behavior during the Volunteers’ loss to Ole Miss on Saturday night.

Tennessee fans reacted negatively to a ball spot during the fourth quarter of the intense game and littered the field with everything from water bottles to mustard and golf balls. The golf balls were thrown at Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin.

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Mississippi running back Snoop Conner (24) scores a touchdown as he's hit by Tennessee defensive lineman Da'Jon Terry (95) and defensive lineman Ja'Quain Blakely (48) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Knoxville.

Mississippi running back Snoop Conner (24) scores a touchdown as he’s hit by Tennessee defensive lineman Da’Jon Terry (95) and defensive lineman Ja’Quain Blakely (48) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Knoxville.
(AP Photo/Wade Payne)

“I’m disappointed in the way the game ended with things being thrown from the crowd,” Heupel told reporters after the game. “I know that’s very few of our crowd members. For the most part of the game, what an unbelievable atmosphere to see Vol Nation show out the way they did.”

Plowman tweeted about the incident.

“I am astonished and sickened by the behavior of some Vol fans at the end of tonight’s game. 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.”

OLE MISS’ LANE KIFFIN FIRES OFF MESSAGE AFTER INCIDENT WITH TENNESSEE FANS

Mississippi coach Lane Kiffin walks the sideline during the second half of the team's NCAA college football game against Tennessee on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Knoxville, Tenn.

Mississippi coach Lane Kiffin walks the sideline during the second half of the team’s NCAA college football game against Tennessee on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Knoxville, Tenn.
(AP Photo/Wade Payne)

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey condemned the behavior as well.

“The Conference has established expectations for behavior and sportsmanship, and the actions of fans at Saturday night’s game were 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,” Sankey said.

“We will review existing Conference policies and the Commissioner’s authority to impose penalties and communicate with the leadership at the University of Tennessee – and all of the SEC’s member universities – to make certain this situation is not repeated.”

Oct 16, 2021; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Volunteers head coach Josh Heupel (facing camera) and Mississippi Rebels head coach Lane Kiffin meet at mid field after a game at Neyland Stadium.

Oct 16, 2021; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Volunteers head coach Josh Heupel (facing camera) and Mississippi Rebels head coach Lane Kiffin meet at mid field after a game at Neyland Stadium.
(Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports)

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Kiffin was pelted with more debris as he left the field. Ole Miss won, 31-26.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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