Following FAU’s 36-31 loss to Marshall on Friday, Kiffin noted that the game “might’ve taken five hours because every call took 10 minutes to figure out how to explain it.” Kiffin’s Owls were flagged nine times for 90 yards, and given his frustration, it would have been completely natural for him to vent during his press conference. Instead, Kiffin refrained by assuming (correctly) that Conference USA would penalize him for doing so.
“I already made the decision I’m not going to get into officiating,” Kiffin continued. “I don’t know if we lose money in this conference — we probably do — and I don’t have a lot anymore. I’m not going to lose any. I’m about to say what I want to say, but I’m not going to. The assistant AD is back there shaking his head like, ‘Hey, don’t say what you wanna say.’ I’m not gonna say anything.”
Be that as it may, he found a way to say it anyway, even without actually saying it. On Saturday, Kiffin not-so-subtly tagged Conference USA in the following tweet.
Words or no words, Kiffin’s opinion was crystal clear. On Sunday, the conference announced that Kiffin had been issued a reprimand and fined $5,000.
“Conference USA has specific rules and standards regarding sportsmanship which have been adopted by our membership,” commissioner Judy MacLeod said in a statement. “We have an obligation to enforce our rules, including the prohibition of public criticism of officiating.”
Kiffin may have felt he found a way around the conference’s policy, but unlike the officials in his tweet, he had to have seen this one coming.