Conference USA fines FAU coach Lane Kiffin $5,000 for criticizing referees in a tweet
So much for FAU coach Lane Kiffin’s proclamation to not criticize the officiating.
Nearly 24 hours removed from the Owls’ 36-31 loss to Marshall on Friday at FAU Stadium, Kiffin used Twitter on Saturday evening to express his thoughts on officiating.
He tweeted a blind-referees meme and tagged Conference USA’s official Twitter account in the post.
On Sunday, the conference announced that Kiffin had been issued a reprimand and fined $5,000.
Kiffin commented “exactly” when an account responded to the post “so much better than commenting on it and getting fined” and replied “Freedom of tweet” to his own tweet.
Lane Kiffin has been reprimanded and fined $5,000 by C-USA for this tweet.
Commissioner Judy MacLeod: “We have an obligation to enforce our rules, including the prohibition of public criticism of officiating.” pic.twitter.com/zt1RcIJHrx
— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) October 20, 2019
His response comes after he said he made a decision not to discuss the calls made on the field on Friday.
“I already made the decision I’m not going to get into officiating,” Kiffin said on Friday after the Owls’ loss. “I don’t know if we lose money in this conference — we probably do — and I don’t have a lot anymore. I’m not going to lose any. I’m about to say what I want to say, but I’m not going to.
“The assistant AD is back there shaking his head like, ‘Hey, don’t say what you wanna say.’ I’m not gonna say anything.”
Kiffin then stopped biting his tongue and gave some feedback on the game’s officiating.
“The game might’ve taken five hours because every call took 10 minutes to figure out how to explain it,” Kiffin said. “I can’t get fined for that.”
I'll give 5k to it 😂 https://t.co/kVMfggqym1
— Lane Kiffin (@Lane_Kiffin) October 20, 2019
His comments came after officials had several controversial calls and non-calls in the Owls’ loss to Marshall. One of the most notable non-calls that made Kiffin visibly distraught came toward the end of the first quarter.
On first-and-10 from FAU’s 49, redshirt sophomore quarterback Chris Robison made a pass attempt intended for redshirt junior wide John Mitchell. Mitchell was hit and brought down as the pass was still in the air, but a penalty wasn’t called.
The Owls could’ve been awarded a fresh set of downs and moved closer to field goal territory is a pass interference was called on the play. Instead, FAU’s offense stalled and the team punted from its own 49-yard line three plays later.
FAU was penalized nine times against Marshall for a loss of 90 yards while the Thundering Herd were penalized six times for a loss of 68.