We're used to conferences fining coaches and athletic directors for criticizing officiating, and just this season, Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard got the biggest fine in Big 12 history for his rant. But now the Big 12 has taken its control over officiating comments a step further, fining ... an SID?
In accordance with the Big 12 Conference Principles and Standards of Sportsmanship, the Conference has issued a public reprimand of Baylor University Associate Athletic Director Heath Nielsen for Twitter comments made during Saturday's football game against West Virginia University. In addition, the Conference assessed a $1,000 fine for Nielsen's activity and put him on notice that any similar behavior will result in further penalty.
For those unaware, SID stands for sports information director. They're wonderful, and they help set up interviews, pass on information and really just deal with a lot of crap from media and fans. They also aren't getting rich off of their jobs, which is why a $1,000 fine seems really, really steep for something like this. Especially since the officiating was terrible enough to have ex-NFL ref Mike Pereira holding up a rulebook on live TV.
From the looks of it, Nielsen is pretty active and outspoken on social media -- you can follow him on Twitter at @HeathNielsen -- which is refreshing to see from a university employee. And let this be a warning (if an unfair one) to all SIDs out there: speak your mind, even if it's the truth, and you could be in line for a hefty hit to your wallet.