Archive for Saturday, October 31, 2009

SEC stiffens penalties for complaining coaches

October 31, 2009


— Publicly griping about officials in the Southeastern Conference just got a lot more costly for Lane Kiffin and the rest of the league’s coaches.

After three SEC coaches in two weeks, including Tennessee’s Kiffin, received reprimands for ripping officials, the conference has decided that future punishment for similar antics will be fines and suspensions.

A memorandum was sent by the league office Friday to every school making them aware of the change, which is effective immediately.

Commissioner Mike Slive, in his eighth season with the conference, was given full discretion by the league’s athletic directors and presidents to hand out the punishment. He will determine the amount of fines and lengths of suspensions on a case-by-case basis.

“On rare occasions over the last seven years, there were several private reprimands, and that took care of the matter,” Slive told the AP in a telephone interview. “On occasion there were public reprimands, and that took care of it. It became clear to me after last week that I was no longer interested in reprimands.

“We will go right to suspensions and fines.”

The Big 12, Big Ten, ACC, Pac-10 and Mountain West conferences also use public reprimands, fines and suspensions as penalties for coaches who are publicly critical of officiating.

The SEC’s officiating, and public complaints by a few coaches about it, has drawn plenty of unwanted attention to Slive’s conference.


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