SEC bylaw on potential Meyer fine/suspension

By Adam Silverstein
November 5, 2009

Rather than simply speculate on how Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive will rule on Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer after comments he made about a single play call in Saturday’s Georgia Bulldogs game, OGGOA went straight to the source and acquired the bylaw that is applicable in this situation.

SEC Bylaw 10.5.4 requires that coaches, assistant coaches, players, support personnel and others associated with the institution’s athletics program refrain from public criticism of officials.

Head coaches are advised that suspensions and fines for violations of Bylaw 10.5.4 made by assistant coaches or other support personnel will be enforced against the head coach.

What is important to note is that the amount of the fine and/or the length of the suspension are at Slive’s discretion. In this particular instance, Meyer did not publicly criticize the officials, which is what the rule is about. He actually followed Slive’s instructions almost perfectly by first sending in the video with a complaint through the proper channel. Meyer did make a comment about the play, but he did not criticize. He went out of his way to ensure this by actually propping up SEC officiating both before and after his statement. There is a HUGE difference between what Tennessee Volunteers head coach Lane Kiffin said (questioning the integrity of the conference and its officiating) and Meyer’s innocuous comment following-up on a reporter’s question.

Even so, Slive must levy be fined. Not because Meyer violated the rule (he didn’t), but because Slive’s hands are tied and he has no other choice in the matter. He cannot suspend Meyer because that would be completely absurd. Yet he cannot refrain from giving Meyer any punishment because the conspiracy theorists would immediately be up in arms. Meyer will, unfortunately, be a victim of circumstance.


  1. ReptilesRule says:

    Adam, the hell with the conspiracy theorists and their opinions. They would not be happy or satisfied outside of a permanent suspension of Meyer anyway. Besides, next week it would just be something else. The facts are that the Haters are out in force and it’s lovely at the top. I meant lonely. Or maybe both. Right now, it is truly us (GatorNation) against the world. I hope the team has taken on that mentality because IT IS THE TRUTH, not just the usual manufactured hype. It’s us or them. Personally…I’m bettin’ on us.

  2. Slive, in my opinion, is the absolute best conference commissioner in the country. That being said, he has a job to do and needs to show that both he and the SEC are impartial. If he fines Meyer, it will not be based on his actions but because he has to save face amidst all of the bad press the SEC has gotten over the past few weeks. It won’t be right, but a lot of things happen that aren’t just. When this high volume of people hate you and attempt to discredit you at every turn, it holds water. Especially when the media jumps in with them.

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