SEC reprimands Kiffin

There won’t be an apology coming from the SEC offices this week.

At least not to Tennessee.

Both Vols coach Lane Kiffin and Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen took exception to more perceived errors by conference officials on Saturday and were slapped with reprimands Monday, and — at least as it applies to Kiffin — that’s the SEC’s last word on the matter.

The league has suspended an officiating crew and publicly apologized for blown calls already this season, but after further review, the SEC stands by the ruling on the field after UT’s upset bid was blocked at then-No. 1 Alabama.

The controversy is over UT’s game-ending field-goal attempt, which was blocked by Alabama lineman Terrence Cody and preserved a 12-10 victory. Cody immediately yanked off his helmet in celebration even as an apparently live ball was still rolling on the field. Pulling off a helmet during a game is a 15-yard penalty.

“The rule in play here and the interpretation of the penalty for taking off a helmet is a live-ball penalty treated as a dead-ball penalty,” SEC associate commissioner Charles Bloom said. “If the foul is called, it would have been marked off on the next play.

“That would be the only interpretation, and if there was no time on the clock, there’s no way to mark the penalty off.”

Kiffin clearly saw the play another way, and expressing his interpretation was part of his second violation of conference rules this season. He also was upset about a disparity in penalties — 8 for 68 yards for UT compared to 1 for 10 for Alabama — well before the final play against the Crimson Tide, and almost as soon as his podium session ended on Saturday night he seemed to expect he would hear from commissioner Mike Slive.

Then he addressed the issue again after his first Sunday practice of the season, prompting Slive to put Kiffin “on notice” that a third reprimand will lead to further penalties, including suspension.

“To me, the rule is this — if a play is still going on, you can’t take your helmet off,” Kiffin said Sunday. “The play is still going. The ball is sitting there. If (tight end) Luke (Stocker) sees the ball he can pick it up and go score a touchdown and we win the game. The guy (Cody) throws his helmet, then two of their guys go recover the ball. It’s a 15-yard penalty and we kick again.

“I’m sure we’ll get one of those letters that mean nothing, that (Arkansas coach) Bobby (Petrino) got last week, but Florida and Alabama live on.”

Florida had another issue again over the weekend against Mississippi State, and Mullen also received a letter from the league after blasting a replay official over a play at the goal-line.

Although both Kiffin and Mullen got letters of reprimand, neither has received a letter acknowledging an error by the officiating crew. And at least for the Vols, the SEC has no plans to send one.

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Comments » 520

UrbanCryer writes:


cwarden24 writes:


RockyTop1_old writes:

He simply should have let it go, we lost, but hold your head high VOLS!!

UrbanCryer writes:

glad they didnt throw that flag but i think the 10:1 ratio is more what he was complaining about.

jayrokey writes:

Why cause a big stink about one little penalty. It's not like it had any effect on the outcome of the game. (sarcasm)

TommyJack writes:

I'm backing the Kiffster. Skaroo Slive.

UrbanCryer writes:

nobody likes number 2!

JRoseForVols writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

FranklinVol writes:

Where is Hamilton, needs to support his coach.

jhbaker14 writes:

Slive is an idiot. He needs to focus less on reprimanding coaches and more on what they are saying...that the SEC officials are doing a terrible job this yeear. Slive needs to get that fixed. Mullen @ Ms St. was furious this weekend too, and I've heard the USC-Vandy game was also poorly officiated. hey Slive - get that fixed and the coaches will shutup.

cwarden24 writes:

possibly rocky top, everything he has done has had a purpose. do you not think this BS reprimand will fire up the team? i do. if the sec had competent officials to begin with; we wouldn't have a crew suspended. it was a good game...alabama just expolited a weakness and prevented the better team that day from getting the win.

chargervol writes:

I hope Slimey has reprimanded every other coach in the conference. It is not like every coach in the conference hasn't blasted the officiating. And, to all the coaches, I am with you, there has not been one game that I have seen this year that has been adequately officiated. LSU, florida, alabama, auburn, s. car., and everybody else in the conference has a right to complain about the refs, they are terrible. Slimey, quit jumping on the coaches and hire some competent officials. GO VOLS!!!

Bloodrunzorange writes:

Sucks to be right! Go CLK! The SEC Needs to take a long look in the mirror! The ref's did not cost UT the game, but they are having a terrible year. CLK has every right to complain. It will happen to someone else down the road. Go Vols and BEAT the South Carolina!

lomas98 writes:

Alabama recovered the ball anyway. The penalty would have marked bama back 15 yards if there was time on the clock. Since the clock expired, game was over.

Has any SEC coach ever been suspended before and how many reprimands must Kiffin get in order for that to happen? Hopefully the slate is wiped clean in each calendar year because he will ultimately get to his limit if not.

Will Dan Mullen receive the same reprimand today?

mac_b_from_tn writes:

Dear Commissioner Slive,
Sorry we almost ruined your championship game. Please don't suspend our coach.

one4black writes:

We all (fans, coaches, administrators, etc) ... need to make sure that the SEC reprimand of Mullen at Miss St and other coaches gets as much attention. I am not sure the MSU coach has even been officially reprimanded (it does not show on the SEC site yet but Kiffin's damn sure does)! Let's make sure Kiffin and UT are not singled-out when he did nothing more than many SEC coaches have done this year! We all know that happened with the secondary violations that also happened elsewhere! ESPN, CBS, CNNSI, and the papers ... let's make sure they all know!

Txvol57 writes:

who cares!! Kiffin is doing great!! Keep it up!!

idrinkorangekoolaid writes:

in response to jayrokey:

Why cause a big stink about one little penalty. It's not like it had any effect on the outcome of the game. (sarcasm)

Uh, get yourself a rulebook. The outcome of the game wasn't affected. There has to be someone on campus that knew that helmet removal penalties are treated as dead ball infractions. It doesnt surprise me that Kiffin is unsure of NCAA rules but what does surprise me is NO ONE on campus makes sure he finds out before screaming to the press!
Get him an assistant Hammy!!!

chargervol writes:

The SEC is the best football conference in the country, the poorest officiated in the country, too. There have been bad calls go against every team in the conference. We still don't know what every team in the league's records are. Come on Slive, represent the teams in your conference, stand by your coaches and hire refs that represent the best conference in the country. Slive, IMPROVE THE OFFICIATING TO THE LEVEL OF THE COACHES AND TEAMS IN THIS GREAT CONFERENCE CALLED THE "SEC"! GO VOLS!!!

chad_t31 writes:

Slive is in violation of being a man. Let's reprimand coaches and let players act as hooligans on the field; yeah, that's the ticket. Kiffin has every right to question the no call(s). No way bubber plays an entire game and commit only 1 penalty. Oh well, as I said in another thread, look for a TN/UGA-type score against south Carolina this weekend. Vols 42-Gamecocks 10.

one4black writes:

Why no front page article on the SEC site about the MSU coach! Why just Kiffin and UT?

If there is to be a reprimand, then all should be done and announced at once each week - not just Kiffin's!

Here is the contact info from the SEC site:
SEC Office Staff
Southeastern Conference
2201 Richard Arrington Blvd. North
Birmingham, AL 35203
(205) 458-3000
(205) 458-3031 - FAX

VOLFTBL writes:

Coach Kiffin has a right to question why a blatant penalty was not called. Thank you for sticking up for the team! Go Vols!

wtvol writes:

Go Kiffin! Go Vols!

y9since80 writes:

in response to TommyJack:

I'm backing the Kiffster. Skaroo Slive.

im with ya tj

UrbanCryer writes:

haters unite!!! GBO!!

abnermc writes:

Did Spurrier get his last week?

volunteers2011 writes:

in response to zunit21:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Saban should know where he will be coaching next year before he declares I WILL NOT BE COACHING THAT TEAM. What a classless coach. Someone will come along and offer him a $5.00 more than bama and he is gone as long as they are willing to cheat so that he feels comfortable with the surroundings.

WhitePineVol77 writes:

Someone may slip in and beat bammer and/or the lizards yet. As for Kiffin, it does not matter what people are saying as long as they are talkin'. I agree with the previous poster that this will also serve to fire up the troops.

chargervol writes:

Let florida get hosed on a call, lose a game because of it, and they'll be on here crying a river. This is not a Kiffin thing, it is about every team in the conference never knowing what to expect from the refs. BTW, I hope a bad call does not prevent florida or any other team a game. I think Slive should get an All-Star officiating crew for the SECCG, so we all will know who really wins that game. I don't care what conference or league he has to go to to get them, NFL included. These SEC refs have lost all credibility. GO VOLS!!!

Major_Magilicutty writes:

Call the SEC office boys. I did. I just wanted them to know that they still have a responsibility to treat all coaches fairly, regardless of prior history. Making the Kiffin reprimand your banner while not mentioning any kind of reprimand for Dan Mullen is not equal treatment.

RockinTop writes:

Go Big Orange!

Nobody cares what the SEC leaders think....the whole nation KNOWS what a joke our officiating is!

I applaud Kiffin!!

agentorange writes:

The SEC refs have been an embarassment and truly have not called good, fair games. Slive should address that.

usnavyvol writes:

in response to zunit21:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Might not be scared of BOZO but ur well scared of the Lane Train running over ur trailer.
Great job CLK for taking up for ur team. Bout time we had that back on the hill. GO VOLS!!
UT Class of 93'.

JDBVOLS1 writes:

in response to SECFB:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

keep it up, we are coming on stronger and stronger, week by week. The cheaters held our WR's just as bad. We also had an offsides call blown--if you could afford DVR you could have seen it as many times as you wanted since CBS chose not to show it again, also a block in the back that went uncalled. nuff said

kiffownsfla writes:

Who gives a dam! he just telling the truth! lets fry sum chicken sat nithe lol go VOLS!

chbradshaw writes:

Wasn't mike slive with conference Usa or some other loser conference. Why was this clown hired?

Go ahead and suspend him. We'll all sit it out.

oldvolsfan writes:

bama and florida are in slive's pocket and the officals have been proteced to long everyone gets repremineded with the exception of the officals saban and meyer oh and slive

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

The message from Slime and the SEC is clear. No matter how incompetent or corrupt the officials are, you had better keep your mouth shut. The CBS announcers were screaming for the flag to be thrown, but the coach can't say anything?

CoverOrange writes:

CLK needs to take lessons from Spurrier:
"We thought we saw a player for their team take off his helmet during a play. Just askin' cuz I don't know."
"Is it against the rules to recruit before you pass the rules test? Just askin' cuz I don't know."

VolinCalif writes:

in response to VOLFTBL:

Coach Kiffin has a right to question why a blatant penalty was not called. Thank you for sticking up for the team! Go Vols!

No! No! This is not about another team. It is about the officiating. It has been terrible all year, Kiffin is not the only coach that is complaining. They have an obligation to complain about that type of phooey. My opinion is that dear Mr. Slive should be called on the carpet he is not doing his job. The SEC schools should get some one that can uphold the rules and not play like they are a god of some sort.

1974Vol writes:

I say take the Vols should take out their frustrations on the original "visor boy" Mr. Steve Spurrier & Company! Since there ain't no national pretenders in the game maybe it'll get called straight up; imagine that!

chargervol writes:

in response to zunit21:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What we do know! florida lost the arkansas game if not for the refs, plain and simple. You are a clown trying to deflect attention away from the fact that your gators lost that game. Your childish mentallity, and lack of knowledge of the game is amazing. And just think, you are an idiot that lies to yourself so that you believe what you say. Fact is, you are the BOZO for coming to this site with your childish, useless posts. I have went back and read your previous posts, and you are a classless loser that makes the gator nation ashamed. Plain and simple! GO VOLS!!!

lomas98 writes:

in response to VFear:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Sure did, just won't blame officials for losing or getting 2 kicks blocked. The quote below from and article may help you. It is from the SEC spokesman.

"The foul for taking helmet off is a live ball foul treated as a dead-ball foul," Bloom wrote in an e-mail Saturday night. "That is, if it happens on a play where time does not expire then the penalty is enforced on the following play. However since the clock ran out on that play, then there is no next play, so there is no penalty to mark off."

GerryOP writes:

Sounds like a case of "Let's kick him now when it doesn't matter." Bad PR if the SEC tries this junk next year when Kiffin is prepping the Vols for an end of season trip to Atlanta and beyond.

Fear The Kiffin...

jakethevolguy writes:

Skaarrruuu Slime & co. UT should pull out of the SEC.

Bloodrunzorange writes:

in response to compact2:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey Ack Jass! Worried about something? Go Vols and stick it in your Arse!

MidTennVol writes:

in response to VFear:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

If it's true that it is indeed a dead-ball foul, then Bama recovering wouldn't have counted anyway, right? So we would have retained possession, right?

And NCAA football games cannot end on a defensive penalty, right? And there was no time left on the clock anyway, right?

LET'S MOVE ON. Or else we're gonna be rooster-bait.

tennesseebee writes:

Well, coach, you called it. C'mon, coach, you're starting to get some respect, don't muck the waters. You know the only time to say anything is on the feild. They are not going to change anything. Play smart or you can't ask the same of your players! Go Vols!

CB4VOLZ writes:

Kinda makes me wonder who Slive wants to win the conference championship game.... He's obviously got the officiating crews protecting Florida and Alabama along the way so they will both get to Atlanta. I also wonder which coach.. Satan or Cryer.. will be screaming about the suspect officiating after they lose. Live by the sword.. Die by the sword.

VolunteerLifer writes:

Good for Kiffin. Someone needs to publicly state what we all know: The officiating in the SEC is lousy. And getting lousier by the week.

Reprimand, schleprimand. Why isn't Slive doing something meaningful about the bush league reputation his officials are giving this league? When is Slive going to make an earnest attempt to improve the officiating? Why doesn't he spend time on that rather than issuing meaningless, worthless reprimands?

The problem here is with Slive and the league office, not Kiffin.

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