Florida coach Urban Meyer fined $30,000 by SEC
Meyer is the first coach to be fined under the new standards implemented last week that increased penalties for coaches who violate the rule against publicly criticizing officials to possible suspensions or fines.
"As I stated last week, I have great respect for Commissioner Mike Slive and the Southeastern Conference and I respect this decision,'' Meyer said Friday afternoon in a statement. "There was no intent to criticize an official after being asked about a situation that occurred last Saturday, and I apologize for my remarks.''
During this past Wednesday's SEC coaches teleconference, Meyer was asked if he had sent to the league office for review a copy of a play in which Georgia's Nick Williams hit Florida quarterback Tim Tebow several seconds after he had handed off the ball. He was also asked if he had received a response of his inquiry from the SEC director of officials.
Meyer responded: "I'm not sure I'm allowed to give you that, what they said. I don't want to step out of line. Once again, I've always had great confidence in (SEC). That should have been a penalty in my opinion. Obviously it should have been. You've got to protect quarterbacks. That's the whole purpose. It's right in front of the referee. But once again, I have great - I'm not sure how they're going to handle that, but we do send it in and that was one of the plays we did send in.''
In a statement on Friday, Slive said: "Coach Meyer has violated the Southeastern Conference Code of Ethics. SEC Bylaw 10.5.4 clearly states that the coaches, players and support personnel shall refrain from public criticism of officials. The league's Athletics Directors and Presidents and Chancellors have made it clear that negative public comments on officiating are not acceptable.''