Sports Outside the Beltway

SEC will suspend, fine coaches who criticize league officials

This action comes after three coaches recently complained about officiating. From AP-

Southeastern Conference coaches will face stiffer penalties from now on for complaining in the media about officiating.

Commissioner Mike Slive told The Associated Press in a phone interview Friday that coaches who violate the conference’s ethics rules against criticizing officials in public will face a fine or suspension instead of receiving merely public reprimands when they first act up.

“On rare occasions over the last seven years there were several private reprimands and that took care of the matter,” said Slive, in his eighth year as the SEC’s leader. “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 and the conference athletic directors and university presidents unanimously agreed.

“For the foreseeable future there will be no reprimands,” Slive added. “We will go right to suspensions and fines.”

If I were the SEC, I’d concentrate on getting more professional officials to work their games rather than take action against coaches who criticize officiating. The SEC after all just suspended an entire football crew. I think the integrity of the league possibly being endangered by rogue officiating would be the more serious concern.

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