Ole Miss Coach Lane Kiffin has been issued a fine of $25,000 by the SEC after taking to social media after the team’s 35-24 loss to Auburn to comment on officiating at the game.
In the fourth quarter with 5:43 remaining, the Rebels took a 28-27 lead, and on the ensuing kickoff, the ball appeared to touch the pinky of Auburn player Shaun Shivers. Ole Miss went on to recover the ball in the end zone, but the referees ruled on the field that Shivers did not touch it, and replay referees did not opt to ask for further review of the play.
While the league admits that there should have been further review on the play, it stated that Kiffin’s commentary on social media still violated league guidelines.
The league office issued the following statement:
The SEC has determined the replay official should have stopped the game for further review of the play. In the football officiating replay process every play is reviewed but, when appropriate, the game is stopped for further review.
Because the play was not appropriately stopped for further review, the necessary slow-motion view of the play was not viewed by the replay official to determine if the ruling on the field should have been reversed.
The SEC Office conducted a review of the play and appropriately communicated its findings above to Ole Miss head football coach Lane Kiffin and other athletics department personnel per conference protocol. However, Mr. Kiffin’s use of social media Saturday following the game to publicly criticize officiating is in violation of Conference Bylaws and Commissioner’s Regulations that govern Sportsmanship and communication with the Conference Office on officiating issues.
Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin has been fined $25,000 for his use of social media Saturday after the game made in violation of SEC Bylaw 10.5 related to officiating in the Auburn at Ole Miss football game of October 24.
SEC Commissioner’s Regulation. Football. Officials. (SEC Bylaw 10.5)
Criticism of officials or the officiating program by institutional personnel is absolutely prohibited. Comments on officiating are to be directed only to the Conference office. All reports or comments pertaining to officiating or game management responsibilities, or concerning student-athletes, coaches or officials, shall be directed only to the Conference office. Public comments related to officiating by officials, coaches or institutional personnel are prohibited.
SEC Bylaws are approved by the member institutions and it is the responsibility of the Conference Office to uphold the bylaws of the Conference. Should a member institution wish to change the Conference Bylaws, there is a process for initiating that change. Otherwise, institutions and institutional personnel are required to adhere to Conference Bylaws which will be enforced with fines and/or suspensions.
Fines levied against schools and individuals in the Conference are directed into a fund supporting the SEC’s post-graduate scholarship program.