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The SEC is admitting that its officials messed up during a key play in Auburn’s win over Ole Miss. And the conference is fining Lane Kiffin for criticizing them.
The conference said Monday that Kiffin had been fined $25,000 for his retweet Saturday afternoon after Auburn’s 25-28 win. It also said that officials should have reviewed a kickoff that appeared to touch Auburn RB Shaun Shivers’ finger with 5:43 to go.
“In the football officiating replay process every play is reviewed but, when appropriate, the game is stopped for further review,” the SEC said in a statement.
“Because the play was not appropriately stopped for further review, the necessary slow-motion view of the play was not viewed by the replay official to determine if the ruling on the field should have been reversed.”
“The SEC Office conducted a review of the play and appropriately communicated its findings above to Ole Miss head football coach Lane Kiffin and other athletics department personnel per conference protocol. However, 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.”
Kickoff was ruled a touchback
Ole Miss was leading 28-27 when it kicked off to Auburn with fewer than six minutes to go. The bouncing kickoff bounced past Shivers and into the end zone where it was recovered by Ole Miss players who were thinking that Shivers had touched the ball and thought they had scored a TD.
Officials on the field ruled that Shivers didn’t touch the ball and the kickoff resulted in a touchback instead of a touchdown. The play was not reviewed before Auburn’s offense took the field and ran a play.
Ole Miss was upset at the lack of a review and Kiffin retweeted a criticism of the officiating after the game. Auburn scored with over a minute to go to win the game.
Kiffin said during his media availability on Monday that he had spoken to SEC officials and wished that he could reveal what the conference had told him.
Kiffin joked after that clip was posted Monday afternoon that he was simply trying to spare himself a fine. But that fine was already in the works.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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