Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida Gators coach Urban Meyer fined $30,000 by SEC for criticizing officials

Urban Meyer is the first to feel the effect of the SEC’s increase in punishment for criticizing game officials.

Associated Press

Urban Meyer is the first to feel the effect of the SEC’s increase in punishment for criticizing game officials.

GAINESVILLE — Florida's Urban Meyer was fined $30,000 Friday by the SEC for saying Georgia linebacker Nick Williams should have been penalized for a late hit on quarter­back Tim Tebow last week.

Meyer is the first coach to be punished under stricter standards the SEC implemented last week. The conference increased its penalties from reprimands to fines or suspensions for coaches who violate the league rule against publicly criticizing game officials.

Meyer, who makes $4 million annually, must pay the fine out of his pocket.

"I have great respect for commissioner Mike Slive and the Southeastern Conference, and I respect this decision," Meyer, 45, said in a statement released by the school. "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 Wednesday's SEC teleconference, Meyer was asked if he sent a copy of the play, in which Williams hit Tebow several seconds after a handoff, to the league office for review. (Georgia coach Mark Richt had said he believed the hit could have warranted a penalty.)

Meyer was asked if he had received a response.

"I'm not sure I'm allowed to give you that, what they said," he said. "I don't want to step out of line. Once again, I've always had great confidence in (the 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."

Coaches routinely send the league office video of plays they want reviewed, for rules clarification or a determination of whether a penalty should have been called.

In recent weeks, Mississippi State's Dan Mullen, Tennessee's Lane Kiffin and Arkansas' Bobby Petrino have been reprimanded for complaining about officials, prompting the SEC to strengthen its punishment.

Wednesday, Kiffin, who has had his share of run-ins with Meyer, seemed skeptical that the Gators coach would be punished for his remarks: "Urban Meyer? Criticized the officials? That will be interesting. We'll see."

Asked if Kiffin was under the impression that public criticism was supposed to stop, he said, "You guys got the same memo that I got."

Florida Gators coach Urban Meyer fined $30,000 by SEC for criticizing officials 11/06/09 [Last modified: Saturday, November 7, 2009 12:12am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Florida Gators announce 2018 football schedule


    The Florida Gators announced their 2018 football schedule Tuesday, including an early SEC game against Kentucky and a matchup against Colorado State, which was part of coach Jim McElwain's buyout from the Rams.

  2. For starters: Rays vs. Cubs in Joe Maddon's return to Trop


    Joe Maddon's return to the Trop will be the main story tonight, but there is still a baseball game to be played, between a Cubs team surging toward another division title with six straight wins and a Rays team struggling to keep alive a longshot bid for the second AL wildcard spot.

    RHP Chris Archer will be on …

    Joe Maddon returns to Tropicana Field tonight for the first time since leaving the Rays to become manager of the Cubs.
  3. Cannon Fodder podcast: Bucs could run into their nemesis


    Greg Auman finishes wrapping up the Bucs' win against the Chicago Bears and looks ahead to Sunday's game at Minnesota, where Tampa Bay could run into nemesis Case Keenum, in our latest Cannon Fodder …

    Bucs outside linebacker Lavonte David (54) sacks Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum (17) during a 2016 game. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  4. Strange case: Bucs could face nemesis Case Keenum again


    Who, you might wonder, will be the first NFL quarterback to beat Jameis Winston three times?

    Case Keenum of the Minnesota Vikings drops back to pass in the first half Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. [Getty Images]
  5. USF men's basketball gets off lightly with NCAA


    Former USF men's basketball coach Orlando Antigua, center, with former assistants Oliver Antigua, left, and Rod Strickland during a game at the Sun Dome on Nov. 9, 2015. (Octavio Jones, Times)