Keenan Slusher

Texas Tech fined for field storming when Texas player shoved

Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman/USA TODAY NETWORK
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IRVING, Texas — Texas Tech was fined $50,000 and reprimanded by the Big 12 Conference because fans stormed the field following an overtime victory against rival Texas, a celebration during which a video showed one of them shoving a Longhorns player.

A post on Texas Tech’s official athletic department Twitter account included a still shot from the video asking for help in identifying that fan, and said the matter had been turned over to the school’s police department.

“Texas Tech does not condone any physical altercations between spectators and student-athletes. This behavior has no place at Texas Tech athletic events,” the school said in a statement.

The video showed Texas senior edge rusher Ovie Oghoufo being shoved from behind by one of the fans who ran onto the field Saturday after the Red Raiders’ game-ending field goal for a 37-34 win, their first at home in the series since 2008.

“I wouldn’t call the fan running into our player. I think the fan went and knocked our player down,” Texas coach Steve Sarkisian said. “Those are tough situations. I love the pageantry of college football. When fans rush the field, it’s dangerous for us as coaches on both sides. It’s dangerous for the players. I give Ovie a lot of credit. I thought he showed great poise and composure. I thought it could have turned into an ugly situation.”

Sarkisian said he didn’t blame fans for rushing the field to celebrate a victory like that, but said it would be good to find a better and safer way for everybody involved. He also acknowledged significant fines some conferences have to try to eliminate such situations.

Texas Tech was fined and publicly reprimanded in accordance to Big 12 policy regarding standards of sportsmanship.

“We have a duty to provide a safe game environment,” Big 12 Conference Commissioner Brett Yormark said. “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. There is zero tolerance for any act that compromises the safety of game participants.”

Auburn loses 2nd center, Tate Johnson, to injury

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AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn has lost its second center of the season with Tate Johnson slated for surgery on his left elbow.

Tigers coach Bryan Harsin said that Johnson is scheduled for surgery on the elbow and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks but could be out for the season. Jalil Irvin replaced him after Johnson went down with the injury against Missouri.

Avery Jernigan has also worked at center.

Johnson had taken over after sixth-year center Nick Brahms retired from football just ahead of the season opener after attempting to return from knee surgery.

Harsin said quarterback T.J. Finley will practice this week after missing the Missouri game with an injury to his right shoulder. Robby Ashford started in a 17-14 overtime win and is listed as the starter on the depth chart going into the game against LSU.

Georgia DB Javon Bullard’s status uncertain following DUI arrest

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ATHENS, Ga. — Defensive back Javon Bullard’s status for No. 1 Georgia’s Southeastern Conference game at Missouri is uncertain after he was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.

Coach Kirby Smart said Bullard must appear before a committee that includes athletic director Josh Brooks.

“Disappointed in Javon,” Smart said. “Hate it for him. He has a wonderful family but made poor decisions, and it will be dealt with internally.”

Smart said there is “still a lot in the air there” regarding Bullard’s status.

Bullard has started in three of four games at the “star” defensive back position. He has seven tackles.

Bullard was arrested by University of Georgia police in Athens and charged with seven misdemeanors, including failure to maintain lane and holding a wireless device. He was booked at 4:57 a.m. and was released on bond less than four hours later.

Bullard, a sophomore, had three tackles in Georgia’s 39-22 win over Kent State on Saturday. He had 12 tackles as a backup in 2021.