BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WTVA) - The SEC fined Mississippi State men's basketball coach Ben Howland $25,000 for comments he made about the officiating in a press conference on Monday.
In response to a question about Bulldog player Reggie Perry, Howland claimed that he had private communications with the conference about the officiating in Saturday's loss against LSU.
According to the SEC, Howland's comments were in violation of SEC Bylaw 10.5.4, which prohibits coaches, players and support personnel from all public criticism of officials and from making public any specific communications with the Conference office related to officiating.
SEC commissioner, Greg Sankey, released the following statement:
"The Southeastern Conference membership has unanimously approved a bylaw prohibiting public comments about confidential discussions with the Conference office related to officiating and we have an obligation to enforce approved Conference regulations," said Sankey. "The Conference assigns a high priority for administrators, coaches and student-athletes to support its officiating program, and the confidentiality of communication between the SEC's Coordinator of Men's Basketball Officiating and coaches as well as other school personnel is critical to maintaining a productive and cooperative environment for the conference's officiating program to succeed and improve."
If Howland violates the SEC's Code of Ethics, he may be subject to further fines and/or suspension by the conference.