Florida Atlantic coach Lane Kiffin fined, reprimanded for tweeting photo of blind referees

If Lane Kiffin was going to be fined for criticizing Conference USA officials, he was going to have some fun with it.

The Florida Atlantic coach's wallet will be $5,000 lighter after a photo he posted to social media in the aftermath of the Owls' 36-31 loss to Marshall on Friday night.

Kiffin was upset with several calls, which resulted in his team being called for nine penalties. He said after the game he wouldn't comment on the officiating because he didn't want to get fined. But he but couldn't resist getting a jab in on Twitter the following day with a photo of three officials … in dark glasses … accompanied by seeing-eye dogs.

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The outspoken coach might have gotten away with it — if he hadn't tagged the conference's official account in the tweet.

“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.”

Before the fine — and a formal reprimand from the conference — were announced on Sunday, Kiffin responded to a comment about the photo he shared by saying simply: "Freedom of tweet."

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