Lane Kiffin, the Southern California coach, got whacked with a $10,000 fine by the Pac-12 for some over-the-top comments on officiating in the USC-Stanford game the other night. Kiffin had said he “was basically lied to” by an official who he said told him he would be alert to call a timeout prior to the Robert Woods reception that resulted in the clock running out at the end of regulation with the game tied at 34.
I thought Kiffin was misguided in the assumption that he would get such a timeout. And when you’re arguing about split-seconds and hoping the timeout would be granted, it seems to me you’re grasping at straws.
“It’s really made me learn we just can’t talk anymore at all about officials,” Kiffin said in answer to a question I posed on Tuesday’s conference call of Pac-12 coaches.
I don’t agree. Anytime you refer to having been lied to by an official, you might as well start looking for your checkbook and the address of the conference office.
What I find extremely interesting is that Kiffin had a response to commissioner Larry Scott’s levying of a suspension via a statement through USC. It’s the first time I can remember a coach referring to “agreeing to disagree” in a response statement. Usually, when there’s a response at all, it’s more in the form of “I apologize, I was a bad boy, and may lightning strike me dead if I ever do anything this evil again.”
Here’s the link to ESPN.com’s story on the affair:
In the meantime, I’ll have a more detailed look in Wednesday’s Times on the targeting-the-head penalty and related issues on Pac-12 officiating.