Coaches and administrators all over Tennessee will really have to watch what they say about the officials from now on.

The TSSAA Legislative Council voted Wednesday to approve a proposal that can fine a school $500 if a coach or an administrator publicly criticizes a game official.

The original language of the proposal made the fine a certainty, but the language in the final version was changed from “will result” to “may result.”

The new rule also allows for the TSSAA executive director to assess other, non-monetary penalties to the school or the individuals criticizing officials.

The council voted to add a Q&A and examples to the handbook to more clearly define what could warrant a fine.

Bernard Childress, the TSSAA executive director, gave one example of a comment that would warrant a fine: “These are the worst officials that we’ve ever seen in our lives.”

CO-OP STAYS AS IS: The council declined to approve a proposal that would’ve required certain private schools that co-op with other schools to get athletes playing for them in football, basketball, baseball and softball to count the enrollment of those schools as part of their own for classification purposes.

PRACTICE STAYING ON TRACK: The council also approved a change that removes all restrictions on offseason track and field practice.

NO SPLIT FOR NOW: Absent from the council’s agenda was a proposal for a full split between public and private school athletic competition.

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