SEC strengthens penalties for coaches who publicly criticize officials
By a unanimous vote of the SEC's athletic directors and with the full support of the conference’s twelve presidents and chancellors, all violations of SEC Bylaw 10.5.4, which prohibits public criticism of game officials, will be enforced by suspensions and fines.The length of the suspension and the amount of the fine will be at the discretion of the league Commissioner (photo, left).
SEC Bylaw 10.5.4 requires that coaches, assistant coaches, players, support personnel and others associated with the institution’s athletics program refrain from public criticism of officials.
Head coaches have been advised that suspensions and fines for violations of the bylaw made by assistant coaches or other support personnel will be enforced against the head coach.
"There are proper channels available for head coaches to use when communicating officiating concerns to the Conference office,” SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said in a statement.
The conference office will continue to address reviews of officiating calls on specific plays with each school's head coach and no public comments will be made concerning these communications.
Last week, the league announced the suspension of an officiating crew that had been involved in several controversial and/or incorrect calls, including a late personal foul against Arkansas in its game against Florida.
Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino, Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin and Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen have all been reprimanded this season for violating the bylaw.