The Southeastern Conference acknowledging this afternoon that it made a mistake in how it reviewed the controversial kickoff late in Auburn's 35-28 win Saturday at Ole Miss.
The league also fined Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin $25,000 for his reaction on Twitter about the call.
In the fourth quarter of Auburn's win, an Ole Miss kickoff appeared to hit the finger of Auburn kick returner Shaun Shivers. Ole Miss running back Tylan Knight then recovered the ball in the end zone.
The officials ruled that Shivers didn't touch the ball and that it was a touchback. Kiffin said an official on the field told him that replay officials in Birmingham already had looked at the play and didn't believe it needed to be reviewed further.
"On the kickoff return in the Auburn at Ole Miss football game at 5:43 in the fourth quarter, the SEC has determined the replay official should have stopped the game for further review of the play," the Southeastern Conference said in a statement distributed publicly. "In the football officiating replay process every play is reviewed but, when appropriate, the game is stopped for further review.
"Because the play was not appropriately stopped for further review, the necessary slow-motion view of the play was not viewed by the replay official to determine if the ruling on the field should have been reversed."
Kiffin was taken to task for his conduct after the game. On Twitter, he shared a post from a fan that read, "Y'all are a disgrace @SEC your officiating's absolutely atrocious."
From the SEC on Kiffin: "The SEC Office conducted a review of the play and appropriately communicated its findings above to Ole Miss head football coach Lane Kiffin and other athletics department personnel per conference protocol. However, Mr. Kiffin’s use of social media Saturday following the game to publicly criticize officiating is in violation of Conference Bylaws and Commissioner’s Regulations that govern Sportsmanship and communication with the Conference Office on officiating issues. Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin has been fined $25,000 for his use of social media Saturday after the game made in violation of SEC Bylaw 10.5 related to officiating in the Auburn at Ole Miss football game of October 24."
Kiffin told reporters today at his regular Monday news conference that he had discussed the call with the SEC office.
"I really wish for our players, for our fans, that they could hear what I was just told," Kiffin said. "I think they deserve to. But I asked. They made sure to tell me there's a policy that I can't tell you, the players or the fans what their, if you want to call it, explanation for that situation and how TV copy and everybody in the country can see it hit him.
"I asked the side judge 'Why aren't they replaying it? Do I need to challenge?' He said 'They've already looked at it. There's nothing there.' I'm not allowed to say anything about the conversation but I really wish that our fans and players could hear what I was told."
Keith Carter, Ole Miss' vice chancellor for intercollegiate athletics, released his own statement:
"Over the last three days, we've had multiple, very direct conversations about the lack of review at the end of Saturday's football game with the SEC office, including Commissioner (Greg) Sankey and Coordinator of Officials John McDaid. Understandably, we are very disappointed with the outcome, and there is no explanation that can erase the frustration of our players, coaches, staff and fans. We hope our substantial discussions can improve how plays like this are officiated in the future. As a program, we are turning the page and look forward to seeing our team take the field at Vanderbilt this weekend."