Social media criticizes UGA fans for not wearing masks, but school says they were following guidelines
Social media blew up during the Georgia versus Auburn game, not because of football, but because of the crowd.
Crowd shots from the TV coverage appeared to show groups within the stadium with few fans wearing masks, particularly in the student section on Saturday. However, both the University of Georgia and the fans were following the guidelines set out by the university and the SEC, the school said.
The rules state that fans are required to wear masks into the stadium, in the common areas, and when social distancing is not possible, but other than that they are free to remove their masks when they get to their seats.
Many users accused UGA of lying about the size of the crowd, but the school followed protocol for social distancing capacity in the stadium.
"Last night's crowd was 20,524 which is a capacity sellout. Our normal capacity is 92,746. So, you are looking about at 22% capacity," a UGA spokesman told CNN.
CNN reached out to the SEC for comment but has not heard back.
SMU students did struggle with following guidelines
Another school in the South was forced to remove their student section after they failed to follow safety guidelines.
Southern Methodist University students refused to adhere to warnings about putting on masks when in close contact and spreading out, so campus police cleared out their section during the game.
"After numerous attempts by staff and security to get the students to comply with these safety requirements, it became necessary to clear the area," Brad Sutton, SMU senior associate athletic director and external affairs said in a statement.
"While no one at SMU wants to see fans leave, it is important to preserve our privilege to host games with fans in attendance during a pandemic."