After Saturday’s disappointing 35-28 loss to Auburn, the SEC admitted to mishandling the muffed kickoff late in the game. In case you missed, the Tigers’ Shaun Shivers attempted to field the short kickoff and it appeared that the Auburn running back touched the football as it went by, rolling into the end zone.
Furthermore, upon review, the officials did not blow the play dead until the Rebels’ Tylan Knight was recovering the football in the end zone, effectively giving what should have been six points for the home team.
Nevertheless, the officials ruled it a touchback, giving the ball to Auburn and eventually giving them the opportunity to drive down and score to take the lead and steal an SEC road win.
Two days after the game and after head coach Lane Kiffin expressed his displeasure with the missed call, he reportedly talked with conference officials about what happened. He then did what they said not to do and was still fined for whatever reason.
SEC issues statement on officiating replay in Auburn at Ole Miss game; Fines Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin for public criticism of officiating.https://t.co/zYMRQnFhAe— SEC Officiating (@SECOfficiating) October 26, 2020
Well, Kiffin didn’t take it lying down.
Lane Kiffin says he just got off the phone with the SEC regarding blown call, "really struggle with this one."— SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) October 26, 2020
Say fans "deserve to hear what I was just told," says he can't share it though per SEC rules.
"I had to take a 5-minute yoga session before walking in here."
Lane Kiffin calls out SEC policy, credit the Ole Miss coach for sticking up for his team.— SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) October 26, 2020
“I really wish for our players, for our fans, that they could hear what I was just told. I think they deserve to.” pic.twitter.com/KM3I3lkoYq
Others shared the same sentiment.
Lane Kiffin: Replay blew it— Aaron Suttles (@AaronSuttles) October 26, 2020
SEC: Replay blew it
Also SEC: Here’s a $25,000 fine, Lane, for correctly pointing out we blew it.
even the Alabama media thinks Ole Miss was robbed https://t.co/gfAAI6vukI— OMRebelNation (@OMRebelNation) October 26, 2020
Mans got fined for tweeting and is still tweeting thru it. King shit. pic.twitter.com/zchqY0f0KX— Richard Johnson (@RJ_Writes) October 27, 2020
Officials make mistakes, and that's part of the deal in sports. But the systems are in place to limit those kinds of mistakes, so when they fail you can't blame coaches for being publicly upset. @Lane_Kiffin is totally in the right here. The false decorum is ridiculous.— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) October 26, 2020
Why is the penalty for the coach public, but the accountability piece for the replay official private? https://t.co/H3bI6v4Dow— Steve Robertson (@ScoutSteveR) October 26, 2020
Twitter is a better place with Lane Kiffin on it— BrianDohn247 (@BrianDohn247) October 27, 2020
I hate Ole Miss and will learn to hate @Lane_Kiffin. But this is complete bullshit that he got fined.— Brandon Walker (@BWalkerSEC) October 26, 2020
Coaches and players have to answer, but SEC never makes its shitty officials accountable for anything. https://t.co/38rjttEqlq
SEC fines Lane Kiffin $25,000 for tweeting about officiating, but league admits it should have stopped game to further review a 4th quarter kickoff that apparently bounced off Auburn player, which Ole Miss recovered & would have likely led to Ole Miss victory— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) October 27, 2020
Lane Kiffin reminds me of @RustyWallace in 1997. He said "s---" in a postrace radio interview. #NASCAR fined him $5000, so he had an armored truck deliver it in 500,000 pennies. He made sure we all had our cameras/recorders rolling & said "You guys, never say s--- on the radio."— Ryan McGee (@ESPNMcGee) October 27, 2020
Kiffin continued to hammer away at the SEC on Twitter for screwing this up.
And then off the top rope.
Look, it sucks that Ole Miss is sitting at 1-4 after back-to-back weeks of having a chance to win a football game in the fourth quarter only to come up short. But, the point remains here that Kiffin turned a negative into a positive in a COVID-abbreviated season that has been difficult for everyone.
Again, the Ole Miss coach has continued his quest to rebuild the program’s brand of a football team that can compete week in and week out with the conference’s best. Whether that’s with one of the most exciting offenses in the country, taking Alabama to the brink, or on Twitter, throwing the conference shills in a body bag, Kiffin is doing everything in his power to fight for Ole Miss, its players, its coaches, and the fans.
This is a metaphorical billboard to the current players and to prospective recruits everywhere that if you come to Oxford to further your football career that the head coach will fight for you on and off the field. And on Twitter.
It’s quite refreshing to have this and we could not be more proud of OUR head football coach.
Oh, and SEC...