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SEC Toughens Rules on Coaches Criticizing Officials

The conference's new policy on coaches saying bad things about the refs: Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

From the press release that just came into the inbox:

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. ...

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.

Before, coaches had to commit three violations of the policy before the fines and suspension began.

Slive and Co. obviously wanted to move quickly to shut down the coaches' new willingness to criticize the referees in the wake of the Arkansas-Florida game and the suspension of the crew responsible for that debacle and the LSU-Georgia problems two weeks earlier. We could find out soon whether the policy is going to work; after all, there are games to be played this weekend.