In response to a claim that the league is embellishing the credentials of the replacement officials, the league essentially contends that the charges of embellishment are an embellishment.
Former NFL V.P. of officiating Mike Pereira’s claims that the league exaggerated the experience of Hall of Fame game referee Craig Ochoa. The league denies that claim.
“They’ve tried to say that Craig Ochoa . . . was a BCS official, that he worked in the Big Ten,” Pereira said. “He didn’t work in the Big Ten. He’s not been a major college official. I don’t think the NFL is going to say that he actually got released midway through the last Lingerie Football League season as a referee. I don’t think the league is going to put that out. The league wants as little out as possible. They don’t want people talking about it. They don’t want me talking about it.”
The league office tells PFT that Ochoa “was not dismissed from his position as a referee in the LFL.” Also, the league passed along the information regarding the officials that was released before the game. “We gave that to anyone who inquired on game day,” NFL spokesman Michael Signora said. “We will have similar information available on game day for the other preseason games as well.”
In the document from Sunday’s game, the league said that Ochoa has eight years of Division I experience, 16 years of Division III experience, and 12 years in other professional leagues.
“The replacement officials are experienced football officials that we have been training for more than two months,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. “We are confident they will continue to do a good job.”
Meanwhile, the fans don’t seem to be troubled by the potential drop in quality from the locked-out officials to less experienced replacements. Until that happens — or until the locked-out officials cry “uncle” — the replacement officials will continue to have employment in a pro league using players who don’t wear lingerie.
At least none that can be seen.