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FAU Coach Lane Kiffin Fined $5,000 for Tweeting Photo of Blind Referees

Lane Kiffin Fined for blind refs tweet

Conference USA fined Florida Atlantic coach Lane Kiffin $5,000 on Sunday for "violating the league's sportsmanship policy" with a tweet depicting referees as being blind.

Upset with his team's 36–31 loss to Marshall on Saturday, Kiffin took to social media to post a meme with three officials in dark glasses accompanied by seeing-eye dogs.

"Conference USA has specific rules and standards regarding sportsmanship which have been adopted by our membership," commissioner Judy MacLeod said in a statement. "We have an obligation to enforce our rules, including the prohibition of public criticism of officiating." 

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The Owls were penalized nine times for 90 yards in the loss. Kiffin was hesitant to criticize referees when asked about officiating by reporters after the game, but ended up sharing his opinion anyway, adding that "the game might've taken five hours because every call took 10 minutes to figure out how to explain it."

"I just lost $5,000 for a tweet," Kiffin told ESPN on Sunday. "We have freedom of speech, but I guess around here there's no such thing as freedom to tweet. Maybe LeBron James will come out and comment about it tomorrow."

FAU is now 4–3 overall and 2–1 in Conference USA.