Hush, little baby, don't say a word

A favorite topic of Southeastern Conference fan discussion this time of year is always how bad the officiating has been. This year, the coaches have jumped on the bandwagon, with Tennessee's Lane Kiffin being issued a stern warning by the SEC. The SEC has taken it one step farther today with new penalties that will impose suspensions and fines for future violations.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Oct. 30, 2009) - In a unanimous vote of the Southeastern Conference's Athletic Directors and with the full support of the Conference's twelve Presidents and Chancellors, all violations of SEC Bylaw 10.5.4 will be enforced by suspensions and fines, effective immediately.

The length of the suspension and the amount of the fine will be at the discretion of the Commissioner.

SEC Bylaw 10.5.4 requires that coaches, assistant coaches, players, support personnel and others associated with the institution's athletics program refrain from public criticism of officials.

Head coaches are advised that suspensions and fines for violations of Bylaw 10.5.4 made by assistant coaches or other support personnel will be enforced against the head coach.

"There are proper channels available for head coaches to use when communicating officiating concerns to the Conference office," said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive.

As is customary practice, the conference office will continue to address reviews of officiating calls on specific plays with each institution's head coach and no public comments will be made concerning these communications.

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