A couple hours after Dawn Staley’s lawsuit against Missouri athletics director Jim Sterk went public, the SEC took action.

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey announced that the conference fined Sterk $25,000 and reprimanded him for claiming that the South Carolina women’s basketball coach promoted an atmosphere that allowed for racial slurs and spitting on opposing players from the Gamecock fans.

Sankey also said that in addition to the fine and reprimand against Sterk, he mandated a review of South Carolina’s game management procedures and visiting team security.

That original claim was made 3 weeks ago when the Tigers and Gamecocks battled in a hotly contested game. Sterk alleged that Mizzou players were subject to such treatment in the hostile environment. Staley fought back against those claims.

Here was the statement that Sankey released about Sterk’s fine and reprimand:

“Both Missouri and South Carolina have cultivated highly successful women’s basketball programs, which enjoy tremendous fan support and have earned the respect of this office. While we always appreciate a healthy level of competitive intensity on the court, there is no place in this league for discord inside or outside of the arena.  I have had multiple conversations over the past few weeks with representatives of both schools about the problems emanating from their January 28 game and it has been my desire for those issues to be mutually resolved between the athletic programs and individuals involved.  Unfortunately, a mutual resolution does not appear imminent.  Our hope is that we can direct our focus back where it belongs – on our student-athletes and on-court competition.”

Even before their matchup a few weeks ago, Mizzou and South Carolina didn’t need much to stir up their rivalry.

The top-15 teams got a bit more juice added to that with this latest development.