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Florida coach fined for comments

Nov. 6, 2009 at 1:45 PM   |   Comments

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Nov. 6 (UPI) -- Florida head football Coach Urban Meyer was fined $30,000 by the Southeastern Conference for comments he recently made about game officiating.

SEC Commissioner Mike Slive Friday announced the fine, the first levied since the conference amended its bylaws to have all violations of rules against public criticism of officials punished with fines or suspensions.

Before last week's change Tennessee Coach Lane Kiffin and Mississippi State Coach Dan Mullen were both reprimanded for critical comments.

Meyer said Wednesday he thought game officials failed to call a penalty on what the coach said was a late hit on quarterback Tim Tebow during the Gators' game last week against Georgia.

"I have great respect for Commissioner Mike Slive and the Southeastern Conference and I respect this decision," Meyer said in a statement after the fine was announced. "There was no intent to criticize an official after being asked about a situation that occurred last Saturday and I apologize for my remarks."

Meyer's top-ranked Gators (8-0) host Vanderbilt (2-7) in an SEC game Saturday.

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