Huskies Insider Blog

Pac 12 fines Lane Kiffin for criticizing officiating, suspends safety T.J. McDonald for hit against receiver

Updated (8:00 p.m.): Here's Gary Klein's story on it from the LA Times.

The Pac 12 announced tonight that it has fined USC head coach Lane Kiffin the sum of $10,000 for his criticism of the referees to the LA Media.

Here's the comment from commissioner Larry Scott in the press release ...

“The Pac-12 has specific rules that prohibit our coaches from making public comments about officiating, and this prohibition specifically includes comments that create doubts about the credibility of the Conference’s officiating program. The Conference expects each Pac-12 coach to adhere to our standards of conduct and to conduct himself or herself in a manner which will reflect credit on the institution and the Conference.”
Inside the USC locker room, wide receiver Marqise Lee and cornerback Nickell Robey were in tears. Trojans coach Lane Kiffin berated game officials in his post-game news conference.

Kiffin's crusade continued Sunday when he said he spoke to Pacific-12 Conference officials about his displeasure over the way the game ended in regulation. With nine seconds left, wide receiver Robert Woods caught a pass and ran across the field for a 7-yard gain.

The officials ruled time expired but the play was reviewed. Kiffin said he told a player to inform the side judge if the replay judged Woods down with one second left, he wanted a timeout to attempt a 50-yard field goal.

"I talked to a few people," Kiffin said. "(About) how I was basically lied to."

One problem with Kiffin's complaint is the assumption that if he called a timeout, the officials would react and signal it in the one second he claimed was left on the clock.

He also was upset about the spot on a Stanford holding penalty in overtime he said was inaccurate.

"Another major issue I had with the officials," Kiffin saidWashington head coach Steve Sarkisian refused to comment about some questionable calls that went against the Huskies, saying: "I don't get it. I'm not going to get into it because I'll say something stupid and I'll get fined for it. I don't understand it."

The league also announced that USC safety T.J. McDonald was also suspended for the first half against Colorado following his hard hit on receiver Chris Owusu. McDonald was given a personal foul penalty in the game, but was not ejected. However from the press release ...

"When there is a foul called for initiating contact on the head/neck area of a defenseless opponent that does not result in a player disqualification, NCAA Football Rules specifically call for a video review by the conference office for possible additional sanctions before the next scheduled game."
“While Mr. McDonald was appropriately penalized on the field, I have deemed it necessary to add a a half-game suspension,” Scott said in a separate press release. “This process was part of our weekly review of all targeting and unnecessary roughness hits.”

“Mr. McDonald had been previously warned about illegal hits above the shoulders on defenseless opponents. In order to protect our student-athletes, it is imperative that we enforce these penalties for the safety of the game.” added Scott.