Skip to main content

Paul Finebaum Thinks SEC Handled Lane Kiffin Situation Wrong

An extreme closeup of ESPN college football analyst Paul Finebaum from the Cotton Bowl in Texas in 2019.

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 31: TV/radio personality Paul Finebaum of the SEC Network speaks on air before the Goodyear Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium on December 31, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

ESPN college football analyst Paul Finebaum was just one of the many critics of the punishment issued by the SEC for Mississippi head coach Lane Kiffin.

The conference fined Kiffin $25,00o for using Twitter to publicly criticize officials after the Rebels 35-28 loss against Auburn on Saturday. The Ole Miss coach "retweeted" a controversial post in addition to sharing some of his own thoughts on a disputed kickoff play that happened during the game's fourth quarter.

As for Finebaum's thoughts on the matter? The punishment didn't match the crime.

And the ESPN analyst didn't hold anything back on Keyshawn, Jay and Zubin when it came to his criticism of the SEC.

“The NFL has been pretty good about that, other leagues have been pretty good about that,” he said. “Just tell the people you got it wrong, that way the next time it comes up you’ll have more credibility. For whatever reason, all leagues just want to hide behind these cryptic announcements, and they still fine the guy. Lane Kiffin was telling the truth. He wasn’t making anything up. … The wrong message is sent here. If you’re wrong, what’s wrong with speaking out.”

Finebaum also spoke freely about how the official's ruling impacted the outcome of the important conference game. “Had they reviewed it according to what Lane [Kiffin] said, Ole Miss would have gotten a touchdown,” he said. “It wouldn’t have guaranteed them a win, but probably would have. It’s really too bad.” The Ole Miss head coach found his pockets to be a little bit lighter on Monday night, but he took to Twitter to poke fun at the SEC's punishment. 

Kiffin and the Rebels square off against Vanderbilt next Saturday in Nashville.