OXFORD, Miss. (UPI) — The Southeastern Conference has fined Ole Miss football coach Lane Kiffin $25,000 for retweeting a Twitter post, which called the conference a “disgrace” for “atrocious” officiating.
Kiffin took to Twitter after Ole Miss lost to Auburn on Saturday in Oxford, Miss. He saw a tweet that was critical of referees for not correctly calling an Auburn fumble late in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game.
The play in question came with 5:43 remaining in the contest. Ole Miss kicked off to Auburn and the ball appeared to hit a Tigers player during the sequence. The ball then bounced into the end zone, where it was recovered by Ole Miss.
Officials said the ball never touched an Auburn player and called a touchback. Slow-motion video replays of the sequence showed the ball hit the Tigers player.
“Y’all are a disgrace SEC,” an Ole Miss fan tweeted after the game. “Your officiating is absolutely atrocious. If y’all want to just keep gifting Auburn wins, just say it.”
The SEC announced Monday that Kiffin received the fine for his retweet of the original post, which featured a video of the play.
The conference also admitted that they should have stopped the game and reviewed the play, which should have been ruled a fumble and a Rebels touchdown.
Jerrion Ealy gave the Rebels a 28-27 lead with a five-yard rushing touchdown just before the kickoff. The Tigers went on to score the game-winning touchdown when Bo Nix connected with Seth Williams on a 58-yard touchdown toss on the resulting drive.
“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,” the SEC said in a news release.
Kiffin — who is one of the most active college football coaches on Twitter — continued to tweet about the fine after he received it.
“Where can I find 2.5 million pennies?” Kiffin tweeted Monday.
The Rebels coach also joked that he could use his son’s college fund to pay the fine.
Ole Miss faces Vanderbilt at 4 p.m. EDT on Saturday in Nashville. Auburn hosts LSU at 3:30 p.m. EDT Saturday in Auburn, Ala.
Reporting by Alex Butler
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