Lane Kiffin was not happy with SEC officials after Ole Miss fell to Auburn 35-28 in dramatic fashion on Saturday. Kiffin, who is one of the more active head football coaches on Twitter, jumped online and criticized the officiating following the game.
Fast-forward to Monday and during a press conference, Kiffin explained that he had talked with the conference on the phone and wasn’t pleased with its explanation for not even reviewing a play in which an Ole Miss kickoff clearly hit an Auburn player late in the fourth quarter in which Ole Miss recovered in the end zone.
Shortly after his press conference, the SEC put out a statement admitted that it completely messed up by not reviewing the play, but continued to pop Kiffin with a $25,000 fine for his criticism of officials.
Long story short, the SEC messed up, and instead of the conference admitting that and that being the end of it, it had to make an example of someone and that someone was Kiffin.
Y'all are a disgrace @SEC your officiating is absolutely atrocious. @SECOfficiating
If y'all want to just keep gifting Auburn wins, just say it. pic.twitter.com/LJ01avk5ZI
— Breck Jones (@BreckJones_) October 24, 2020
Like literally everyone else in the college football world, Paul Finebaum thought that the SEC’s reaction to the matter was completely mishandled and that fining Kiffin was ridiculous. He blasted the conference during an appearance on Keyshawn, Jay, and Zubin on Tuesday.
“In this case, there was a clear case of having to review it. Had they reviewed it, according to what Lane said, Ole Miss would have gotten a touchdown, Finebaum explained, according to 247 Sports. “It wouldn’t have guaranteed them a win, but probably would have. It’s really too bad. I just wish leagues, regardless whether the SEC, ACC Big Ten, when they make a mistake, just say you made a mistake and blew it. The NFL has been pretty good about that. Other leagues have been pretty good about that.
“Just tell the people you got it wrong. That way the next time it comes up, you’ll have more credibility,” Finebaum said. “For whatever reason, all leagues want to hide behind these cryptic announcements, And they still fined the guy. Lane Kiffin was telling the truth. He wasn’t making anything up. He told the truth, not that $25,000 is going to derail his career. He’s making $4 million a year … The wrong message is sent here. If you’re wrong, what’s wrong with speaking out?”
Ole Miss may be 1-4 on the season after a few gutwrenching losses already to its name this season, but at least Kiffin is keeping things entertaining in Oxford and standing up for what he believes in, which SEC officiating is far from consistent.