Florida Atlantic's Lane Kiffin fined $5,000 over referee meme, laments lack of 'freedom to tweet'

Florida Atlantic coach Lane Kiffin was fined $5,000 on Sunday for tweeting a meme aimed toward Conference USA referees after the team’s five-point loss to Marshall.

Kiffin tweeted a photo depicting blind referees. He tagged the Conference USA official Twitter account.

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“I just lost $5,000 for a tweet,” Kiffin told ESPN. “We have freedom of speech, but I guess around here there's no such thing as freedom to tweet. Maybe LeBron James will come out and comment about it tomorrow.”

Kiffin added that he spoke with conference officials, and he said officials agreed there were “inconsistencies” with the officiating and they were going to investigate.

Florida Atlantic was penalized nine times for 90 yards in the 36-31 loss.

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“I already made the decision I'm not going to get into officiating,” Kiffin initially said after the game. “I don't know if we lose money in this conference -- we probably do -- and I don't have a lot anymore. I'm not going to lose any. I'm about to say what I want to say, but I'm not going to. The assistant AD is back there shaking his head like, 'Hey, don't say what you want to say.' I'm not gonna say anything.”

Kiffin later added: “The game might've taken five hours because every call took 10 minutes to figure out how to explain it. I can't get fined for that.”

Kiffin, the former USC and Oakland Raiders head coach, has been with the Owls since 2017. In his first season, Florida Atlantic went 11-3 and won the Boca Raton Bowl.

On Monday, Kiffin jokingly asked President Trump for help.

However, the last two seasons have been unkind. Florida Atlantic went 5-7 in 2018. The Owls are 4-3 through seven games this season.

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Before the loss to Marshall, Florida Atlantic was on a four-game winning streak. The team is on the road against Old Dominion this coming Saturday.