01 November 2009
One week after the SEC "laid down the law" by announcing new rules governing the public criticism of officials, the league will have another controversy on its hands.
In case you missed it, SEC coaches have gotten a little loose in the lips when criticising football officials. Bobby Petrino, Dan Mullen, and Lane Kiffin have all been publicly reprimanded in the last few weeks. Kiffin added fuel to the fire by suggesting that the SEC was involved in a conspiracy to get Alabama and Florida into the SEC Championship game.
That one earned Kiffin the following letter from the Mike Slive:
It is your responsibility as a coach to comply with the policies of the Southeastern Conference and to know the football playing rules. Since it is clear from your public comments that you believe this letter `mean(s) nothing,' let me be equally as clear to you. The next time you, or a member of your staff, make public comments of this nature, you will be suspended from all coaching duties for one or more games, and the institution may be subjected to a substantial fine. I also remind you that this is your second public reprimand in your brief tenure as Tennessee's head football coach, and on both occasions, you were wrong about the applicable rules.
While that is a substantial threat, and the last line sure stings, it was purely lip service. How do I know? Because later that same day Tennessee assistant coach Ed Orgeron gave an interview with GoVolsExtra.com where he gave us the following gem:
I do know this: there were some very questionable calls in that game that could have went either way and they went Alabama's side. There were very questionable calls throughout the season and it seems they go for the better team. Whether that's true or not, we can never prove that but that's what it seems like.
Did the SEC respond? Did they suspend Orgeron or Kiffin? Did they fine Tennessee? Nope. To the league's credit, they did pass a new rule that lays things out pretty specifically. Our own Glen Turner wrote about this the other day, so I'll move on from this exact issue, and on to what this particular post is about.
What this particular post happens to be about is a new rule passed by the NCAA this season regarding the punishment for "flagrant personal fouls." That rule reads:
Flagrant Personal Fouls (Rule 9-6). For 2009-10 the rules committee has added a new section that calls for conferences in the days following a game to review certain particularly dangerous plays. This new rule says that if a player is ejected for any flagrant personal foul the conference must review the game video for possible further action. In addition, if the officials call fouls for targeting defenseless players or using the crown of the helmet and the player is not ejected, the rules mandate a conference review. Furthermore, if the review by the conference reveals actions that should have resulted in a personal foul but were not called, the conference may impose sanctions.
Why am I bringing this up? Check out this jewel from Saturday's Florida vs. Georgia game:
If you need help zooming in on exactly what the problem is, here's a lesser quality version of the replay:
Yep, that's Florida's all-world linebacker Brandon Spikes attempting to jam his fingers into the eyes of Georgia running back Washaun Ealy.
So, one week after being completely impotent in enforcing its own rules regarding the public criticism of officials, will the SEC step up to the plate and have anything to say about Brandon Spikes committing a flagrant and "particularly dangerous" play?
The SEC should suspend Spikes for Florida's next game - the penalty for punching a player. The SEC will likely pretend it never happened.
What do you think? Discuss this in the BSR Forum.
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