Slive may have to adjust rule on coaches

 

Nobody asked me, but SEC Commissioner Mike Slive may eventually have to rethink and readjust his position on the coaches and their comments on officiating.

When Slive decided to get tough on coaches who commented negatively on officiating, it was absolutely the right thing to do at the time. And for the rest of this season the threat of fines and/or suspensions should stay in place. The atmosphere is just too toxic and every time there is a controversial call, like the one in last Saturday’s LSU-Alabama game, it just gets worse. So the rule needs to stay in place to keep a lid on things for the rest of this season.

But in the offseason when things calm down, the commissioner may need to take a second look at this policy. Here’s why. Somebody I respect a great deal in this business made this point to me. He didn’t give me permission to use his name so I won’t. But he did change my thinking on this issue.

When their teams get the short end of a bad officiating call, coaches feel compelled to say something. Because to say nothing makes them appear weak to some elements of their fan base. I saw one guy in a comment section take Les Miles to task this week because he decided to take the high road on the interception/non-interception call against Alabama. It was clear from Miles’ comments that he didn’t agree with the call but to some fans that’s not enough. They want fire and brimstone. It’s silly but it’s true.

When Georgia’s Mark Richt didn’t raise hell in public about the bad excessive celebration call in the LSU game Oct. 3, some people saw this as a signing of weakness in Richt. That’s also silly. Richt knew it was a bad call but handled the situation with class. Maybe I missed the memo, but when did that become a bad thing?

How about this for an adjustment to the rule for 2010? Coaches can say they disagree with a call. They can say that they saw the call differently than the guy who made it. They can even say the call was “disappointing.” But utter one word that questions the integrity of the officials (as Tennessee’s Lane Kiffin did after the Alabama game) or suggests that an official be “punished” (as Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen did after the Florida game) and the hammer comes down. Hard. Make the line for the coaches bright red and 100 feet tall. You cross it and you will pay a dear price.

Really good coaches push the envelope. In this league coaches have to do it just to survive. It could be the genie is out of the bottle on this one and can’t be put back in. Because the league is so competitive now and because the stakes are so high, the commissioner could be exactly right: Zero tolerance on this subject may be the only thing that will work with these guys.

But, within limits, we want a little feistiness in our coaches. It’s entertaining and college football is in the entertainment business. My friend told me that you can’t completely neuter these guys or the SEC, at least from a personality standpoint, will end up like the Big Ten.

God help us if that happens.

 

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195 comments Add your comment

Gen Neyland

November 11th, 2009
9:54 am

Dawg Fud : James is a darn good pick. CLK must keep the interest up and continue to gather the peices. Tennessee’s OL needs a few more recruits and I have confidence they will come. CLK et al Atop Rocky are working hard to get ‘em…

anthony

November 11th, 2009
9:55 am

Tony, To me the SEC looks pretty stupid telling coach’s (ie Petrino) not to complain about a call that was so bad the officials got suspended for it. Let everyone speak their minds I say. If a coach makes a slanderous accusation then there are already legal recourses to take. If there is one thing not needed its new rules, laws or whatever else can be thought of. Who knows if the officials either directly or indirectly are encouraged to protect the higher ranked teams. It did not seem that way with Georgia last year. The point is if people are free to speak their mind it will all work out. And if someone crosses the line we already have laws for that.
One of biggest problems is the replay officials are trying to justify the call on the field rather than just get it right.

SadDawg

November 11th, 2009
9:59 am

Our coach is sooo classy!

Freddie Kitchens

November 11th, 2009
10:00 am

Tony, its interesting you make this point A/F Coach Urban made a $30,000 donation to the league.

If I remember correctly: ” Spikes will sit the game, will Urban Meyer join him”

Darius

November 11th, 2009
10:00 am

LOL @ Tony. You contributed to the out of control comments from the coaches and the reaction by Slive with your columns and show. You used your column to push a personal agenda because of a bad call against your beloved Dawgs. You pushed and pushed and pushed. You then pushed your personal agenda in the Spikes incident because it once again involved your beloved Dawgs. Despite BJ Jones (who actually played the game) telling you straight out that you were wrong, you pushed and pushed and pushed. Where is your column about the Clemson defender getting caught with his hand up in the helmet of the FSU player this past weekend? Where is the outrage?

And when Meyer made a very mundane comment about the refs completely missing the personal foul call for Nick Williams’ late hit, you once again used your column to push your personal agenda that Meyer should be fined by Slive.

And, now we are supposed to care that you have seen the light because you finally decide to listen to someone who knows what they are talking about? Maybe you should listen to people who know more than you and people who have actually played the game BEFORE you write one of your columns pushing your personal agenda.

Slive set an ugly precedent when he fined Meyer for making a non-inflammatory comment that is made by college football coaches each and every week all over the country without so much as whisper from columnists or reprimands from the conference. It is one thing to tell coaches like Petrino, Kiffin, and Mullins to shut their traps when they are ranting and raving about “conspiracies” and “firing officials”. It is a completely different thing to fine a coach for simply commenting the officials missed a call and tape was sent to the SEC office. The fact that you could not see that clearly last week just goes to show how you personal bias has clouded your judgement.

Slive and the SEC are not the only ones who need to do some soul searching in the offseason.

Anthony

November 11th, 2009
10:00 am

Tony, Just wondering why you hardly if ever interact on your blog?

SC Rules!!!

November 11th, 2009
10:02 am

Tony,

I agree that Mr. Slive will neet to & should address his stance on the coaches comments. After all there are times when their comments have merrit.

Tide Rising,

(From yesterday) I agree that the SEC has superior D and the PAC-10 has the better O; that is just how we’ve always looked at the game. Sure we try and have a stout D but we know we can run the other team into the ground so to speak with an unrelenting O. Look at the PAC-10 domination of the Rose Bowl vs. the Big 10 they always had bigger, stronger SLOWER teams. We would just light them up and they would be dog tired come the 4th qtr. The SEC is a GREAT conference as I’ve always said, but as you pointed out the “home town folk” can’t/won’t see the trees for the forest and acknowledge that there are teams out there (Pac 10, Utah, BSU TCU etc…) that are good too. Appreciate the fact that you can! When the new BCS contract comes up in 2014 I think we need to push for a round robin Bowl alignment much as the NC game rotates among the Big Bowls. This would allow the SEC vs. USC/UCLA/UW/UO match-ups that would be a true test for both and be very entertaining for the fans!

Fight On!!! RTR!!!! Mt Cody will crack T-bone like fresh eggs for breakfast!!

Long Time Gator

November 11th, 2009
10:03 am

Tony, you seem to be waffling a bit, … but it’s good to see you coming around, young man. As my old boss used to say, “somebody’s got to be the boss.” In this case, Slive is the boss and the right response (in Meyer’s case) was to somehow not evoke any penalty and to somehow justify it in public (he’s apparently an old lawyer, so this should have been childs play for him). If you look at the Meyer fine as an isolated event, the conference looses at lot of credibility – it’s actually more of an abomination than the referee’s calls in Athens, Gainesville, Starkville, Tuscaloosa (and no doubt other venues).

Another thing, they’ve got to get off of this “irrefutable visual evidence” thing – I don’t know what the answer is, but the Doe non fumble and the LSU non interception just can’t happen when the good folks at home are seeing what they are seeing.

Best Regards – and enjoy your work!

Ed

November 11th, 2009
10:08 am

One of the issues is that so many experts do not know the minutia of the rules. It is so easy to complain and get caught up in things, when you really do not know the rules.

Otto

November 11th, 2009
10:20 am

I think all SEC fans should take a look at this:

http://www.tigerdroppings.com/rant/MessageTopic.asp?p=16213392&Pg=1

It does make you ask questions about the officials today.

MarkWillieBobo

November 11th, 2009
10:20 am

A good official will discuss it with the head official and the rest of the crew if there is controversy. I’ve seen them do it many times AND pick up the flag and wave it off. That would be no different that video review, just a lot faster. There is no loss of integrity in doing this.

Joe

November 11th, 2009
10:24 am

How about geting rid of this idiot- he has no control over this mess. SEC officials are sewage.

Rickety Split

November 11th, 2009
10:25 am

We are a classy 5 and 4.

Otto

November 11th, 2009
10:27 am

Jeremy Coleman, I agree with your comparisons. NASCAR turned stale with the driver comments and debris cautions became more and more common. Is NASCAR trying to be safer, setup close finishes, or influence an outcome for the race? I don’t know but when the race from the last caution to the checkered is all that matters I don’t care to waste 3 hours watching it. I have not watched a NASCAR race in 2 or 3 years.

Football is going the same way, QB protection rules, late hit rules, silencing the coaches, blown calls (same as debris cautions?). Last year I watched Talking College Football and DVR’d CFB live. This year I just watch whatever happens to be on when I can, maybe 2hrs during the week. Coaches say the same old predictable statements, and sometimes just directly lie about how a player did in practice.

If College Football is not careful viewership will peak and then decline. They have a money making machine on the rise the same as NASCAR 10 years ago.

Homer

November 11th, 2009
10:28 am

Mr. College Football? How about UGA HOMER!

Chico Esquela

November 11th, 2009
10:31 am

How mucha fun would basaball be if the managers couldn’t argue a bad call. I know basaball! Basaball been berry berry good to me!

beglobal

November 11th, 2009
10:36 am

Tony, your comment about college football being “in the entertainment business” is exactly what’s wrong with the SEC. For the most part, entertainment is staged, directed and produced with a pre-determined outcome. College football should be about competition, sportsmanship, discipline and the growth of young men. Unfortunately, it has become entertainment. And a form of entertainment that generates billions of dollars for all but the players themselves. Football has even become a marketing tool to increase a school’s enrollment and, thus, profits. Division I football has been tainted. Soon, it will drive away its core fanbase and when the novelty wears off and the fringe fans disappear, maybe SEC football will go back to its original intent.

Christian Dior Dogg

November 11th, 2009
10:39 am

Tony I agree with everything you say, especially about our dear Dawgs. Have you heard anything about what color jerseys they’ll be wearing on Saturday? Some of us are trying to coordinate our outfits!

Top Dawg

November 11th, 2009
10:39 am

That was an interception by Patrick Peterson. Put an asterisk by whatever Bammer does for the rest of this season.

Mean Dean

November 11th, 2009
10:41 am

Brad–you’re exactly right. Tony, find something to talk about besides SEC officiating and the SEC commissioner! Goodness. How about discussing something like, oh, I don’t know, college football teams and players! Go back and look at how many articles you’ve written on this subject. Everyone else has moved on, but you insist on beating this dead horse. Your act is wearing thin.

Homer Dawg

November 11th, 2009
10:46 am

Come on, guys – it’s time to lay off Tony!

I for one really enjoy reading Mr. SEC Officiating’s daily blogs. I can’t wait to see what he writes about tomorrow.

Vols_1

November 11th, 2009
10:52 am

Perhaps the real solution to the problem is for Slive to focus on upgrading the officiating in the conference. When calls consistently favor the higher-ranked teams, it can’t be coincidence.

Change needs to start at the top with a new officiating head being brought in from outside the conference. This person should conduct a top-to-bottom review of every game. Refs who perform below a certain threshold should be removed.

If Slive is unwilling to do anything about officiating, he should be removed though I know Florida and Alabama won’t support that move.

Got 12?

November 11th, 2009
10:56 am

Hopefully, the losing teams’ players and coaches are more concerned with their upcoming games than whining (like their fans).

gdawginkalamazoo

November 11th, 2009
10:56 am

GatorG, I liked the 9:32 post. Too funny.

I dont’ think they need to change the rules. If you question the integrity of the refs (Kiffin) or say that they should be punished (Mullen) then you bring out the guns. I don’t think that what Meyer did was wrong, I thought that he was asked about it and yes he thought it was late and should have been called. And I agree with him on that. I guess the 30K was to buy those HD monitor that they so desperately need.

Otto, good pictures and footage there. I don’t want to comment for fear of getting reprimanded and fined by Slive.

Floyd

November 11th, 2009
10:58 am

Here is the flaw in Slive’s handling of the situation:

Until coaches began to speak up about the poor officiating, he did NOTHING to address it. Until that happened…until coaches began calling the integrity and competency of officials into question…Slive was perfectly content to act as though the problem didn’t exist, make excuses or in some cases even lend his support to the officials.

You can’t be in charge of what is obviously the worst officiating crews in college football, do nothing to improve the situation, and then get pissy at the coaches when they finally get upset about seeing the same officials make bad call after bad call after bad call.

If Slive and the SEC officials want to have a leg to stand on in this argument, they should have addressed the problems BEFORE coaches were forced to point them out. Instead of solving problems, Slive has instead chosen to shoot the messengers.

no dawg

November 11th, 2009
10:59 am

Officiating has been a “Poke In The Eye” to entire SEC.

1eyedJack

November 11th, 2009
11:00 am

“Richt knew it was a bad call but handled the situation with class. Maybe I missed the memo, but when did that become a bad thing?”

Tony, what planet have you been living on?

You must not be reading your own blogs. If you want to see a lack of class just read on.

Got 12?

November 11th, 2009
11:02 am

Otto,

Please forward the link to site with still pics of the holding calls (offensive linemen) and open field PI’s (Peterson v. Julio) that weren’t called against LSU.

On the count of three, let’s all stop whining. 1, 2, 3….now, on to this weekend’s games.

Delbert D.

November 11th, 2009
11:02 am

Let’s add a new adjective to the Websters dictionary: “Slivey”

H1022

November 11th, 2009
11:03 am

The truth is the closer you are to Birmingham the better call you get. It has always been thus.

JaxDawg

November 11th, 2009
11:06 am

GatorG

November 11th, 2009
9:32 am
“Richt knew it was a bad call but handled the situation with class.”

Dawg Fan Tony Barnhard, not so much. Here’s the quote:

“…the excessive celebration call on Georgia’s A.J. Green last Saturday against LSU is the single worst officiating mistake I have seen in my three decades of covering the sport.”

That was Tim Brando’s quote, not Mark Richt’s. hince the “…three decades of COVERING the sport.”

Tide4u2c

November 11th, 2009
11:07 am

Top Dawg,

LSU had 2 possessions after that call to drive down the field and score and did’nt even if it was a bad call LSU had their chance to score and did’nt.They only got about 9 yards of offense in the 4th quarter.

SuperB

November 11th, 2009
11:11 am

All the SEC needs to do is to tell Lane Kiffin to shut up. It’s a good thing Neyland Stadium is already there. If UT had to build another stadium the only place big enough in Knoxville to put it would be– in Lane Kiffin’s mouth!

Otto

November 11th, 2009
11:14 am

The SEC didn’t tell Lane to shut up after his comments this spring?

GatorG

November 11th, 2009
11:15 am

JaxDawg,

No, that was a quote from Dawg Fan Tony Barnhard’s blog that week. I agree that Richt handled it with class.

For the record, I really like Richt. I don’t know if he can get UGA to the National Championship, but it would be a shame to see an all-around good guy like him get fired.

gdawginkalamazoo

November 11th, 2009
11:16 am

Got 12? But I can’t help thinking that IF that call had been overturned that I would have heard the “bull$hit” chant from Bama all the way up here in Kalamazoo. Regardless, the calls are what they are and there is nothing you can do to change them after the game.

Tide4u2c, yep you are correct. Just like when UGA didn’t stop LSU after the bad call. Not Bama’s fault the call was wrong. They did what they had to do to win the game.

GEORGIA97

November 11th, 2009
11:16 am

Tony, you’re pathetic. If I f*ck up in my job I’m going to be called out for it and punished, plain and simple. This country has completely lost all sense of accountability and instead we point fingers rather than owning up to our mistakes. If the refs don’t do their job then fire the bums and get someone in there that knows when to throw a flag and when not to. Bunch of bed wettin’ mama’s boys, I tell ya.

Otto

November 11th, 2009
11:16 am

Got 12, I don’t doubt the refs missed calls on LSU.

Either way missed calls that blatant should not be allowed even if they missed an equal # for both teams.

collegeballfan

November 11th, 2009
11:18 am

I do not see the problem with criticizing the officials when they make a bad call. Integrity questions, yeah that is out of bounds. But just saying, “Hey they blew the call…” is OK in my book.

It is a real contest over whether the officiating is worse in the ACC or the SEC. Both stink.

gdawginkalamazoo

November 11th, 2009
11:21 am

Otto, they did tell him to shut up. They had to direct it at everyone, but we know who it was really intended for. Evidently he wasn’t smart enough to understand that hence the probation. It is funny though that Kiffin’s & Mullen’s comments pretty much paved the way for Meyer’s fine. So you could say that Kiffin cost Meyer 30K. Now that’s funny.

3boysnblaze

November 11th, 2009
11:23 am

I am one of those that wanted miles to be more vocal. It will not change the score but it might impact what his current team and those being recruited. No one likes a boss or leader that is perceived weak and a puss. Miles could not only afford the $30,000 hit but there are a ton of alumni that would have gladly paid that bill. I don’t believe that Slimebag would have suspended him for “telling the truth”. He doesn’t have to be disrespectful, just throw some pictures down pointing out that on a least 5 times, the stripes killed LSU while being blind and mute allowed Bama to do whatever. It’s in the pitcures, not subjective speculation. If Slimebag refuses to acknowledge the errors, then expect the fan bases to become More vocal. After all, it’s the SEC. It’s not only a game it’s a way of life!

Otto

November 11th, 2009
11:24 am

Got 12, A question, reading the comments posted by sports writers the SEC is getting negative press for the refs calls in multiple games.

How many SEC teams are in the top 25?

The SEC is not getting the vote in the rankings anymore. As the dominant football conference with a big new TV contract, the SEC will be hated. The SEC does not need to all something as stupid as blown calls to destroy the image of the conference.

Do you want something like 1966 to happen again?

It will if the media has lost faith in the officials.

gdawginkalamazoo

November 11th, 2009
11:24 am

And prayers out to the Veterans and soldiers who are fighting for our country. Please remember them today.

Otto

November 11th, 2009
11:25 am

It is funny that Lane cost Urban 30k.

It isn’t funny that it further makes CMR even more afraid to say anything other than “We’ll work harder”

Otto

November 11th, 2009
11:26 am

*SEC does not need to allow

LHardingDawg

November 11th, 2009
11:36 am

It seems to me as if the SEC officials have done a fantastic job this year. After signing the billion dollar tv deal, they had to make sure that Florida and Alabama were undefeated and played in the SEC championship game. It didn’t matter how they became undefeated, just that they were undefeated, with the winner playing in the national championship game. Good job SEC, maybe next year another two teams can be hand picked, so we can pass it around.

b6542

November 11th, 2009
11:36 am

WildBill

November 11th, 2009
11:40 am

With all the technology available to the refs, why can’t they get it right all the time? Its all about the money…………. is why they can’t, won’t, and don’t!

Not Disappointed!

November 11th, 2009
11:40 am

God bless the Vets that have gone on or still here. Thank you for serving your country.

Slive, will have to meet with the coaches and SEC officials at the end of the year. This is gettng a little out of hand.
Ramblin Wreck!

Eric

November 11th, 2009
11:42 am

I’m an Atlanta, Auburn Tiger, but I’ve always liked Tech. m for moron is making me re-think my position.