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SEC toughens penalties for criticizing refs

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The Southeastern Conference announced harsher penalties for all violators of SEC bylaw 10.5.4, which requires that coaches, assistant coaches, players, support personnel and others associated with the institution's athletics program refrain from public criticism of officials.

In a unanimous decision passed down from the SEC's athletic directors, all violators of SEC bylaw 10.5.4 will be punished by suspensions and fines, effective immediately. The length of the suspension and the amount of the fine will be at the discretion of SEC Commissioner Mike Slive.

"There are proper channels available for head coaches to use when communicating officiating concerns to the conference office," Slive said in a news release.

Head coaches will be subject to suspensions and fines for violations made by assistant coaches or other support personnel.

The decision comes after three coaches were reprimanded in the past two weeks for criticizing officials. 

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