Columbia, SC (WLTX) - South Carolina Gamecocks men's basketball coach Frank Martin has been fined $25,000 by the SEC for comments he made about the officiating during his team's game over the weekend with Florida.
The SEC league office announced the penalty Monday afternoon, which included a public reprimand.
After Saturday's 65-41 loss to Florida, Martin said that one of the officials "turned his back on the SEC to work this game."
Commissioner Greg Sankey, though the statement, said the remarks "serve to undermine the effectiveness and continuing enhancement of the SEC men’s basketball officiating program."
SEC bylaws restrict coaches, players and support personnel from all public criticism of officials.
" The SEC staff and the SEC’s Coordinator of Men’s Basketball Officiating have worked diligently over the past two seasons to improve the overall quality of the Conference’s officiating program," Sankey said in the statement. "Our coaches and administrators have been fully informed of our strategies for improvement, which include building relationships with other conferences to coordinate the assignment of officials outside of their primary assigning conference. We appreciate this collaboration among conferences and will continue to seek and support these officiating assignments and basketball officials.”
Sankey said further violations could get Martin a one-game suspension.
The SEC says they use the money collected from fines to support the SEC’s post-graduate scholarship program.