This letter of reprimand from SEC Commissioner Mike Slive to Tennessee’s Lane Kiffin was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by Jimmy Hyams, sports radio host in Knoxville.
Dear Coach Kiffin:
This is with regard to your post-game statements concerning the officiating in the Tennessee at Alabama football game played in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on October 24th, 2009.
The actions and statements constitute public criticism of officials, contrary to the provisions of Bylaw 10.5.4 of the Southeastern Conference Manual, which reads, “coaches, players and support personnel shall refrain from all public criticism of officials.” It is your responsibility as a coach to comply with the policies of the Southeastern Conference and to know the football playing rules.
As a result of your comments, I’m sending you this letter of reprimand. This reprimand will be made public.
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.