Report: Talks between NFL, officials break down


With their contract set to expire on May 31st, the NFL and the union for the league’s officials met for mediation in Washington D.C. in hopes of working out a new deal for the 2012 season and beyond.

It does not seem to have been a success. The old contract expried and Adam Schefter of ESPN reports Monday that the talks have broken off between the two sides. As a result, the NFL has advised all 32 teams that they will now start working to hire replacement officials.

The NFL will be looking everywhere but BCS conferences for these officials. Per Schefter, the close relationship between BCS and NFL officials is causing the league to look elsewhere in order to avoid putting BCS officials in a tough spot. Retired college officials, officials from smaller conferences and those working in arena football will all be considered for replacement jobs.

There was a similar need for replacement officials 11 years ago, but that was long before the league and players became so focused on issues related to on-field safety. That will make this effort more complicated, especially if the players union is inclined to make this part of their larger fight with the NFL.

44 responses to “Report: Talks between NFL, officials break down

  1. NBC/ESPN executives are going to be really pissed if Ed Hochuli isn’t calling their night games and can’t prolong them by 2 hours.

  2. Ok tell me what’s wrong with this???

    Posted by Josh Alper on June 4, 2012, 11:06 AM EDT

    APWith their contract set to expire on May 31st,

    I mean come on if today is JUNE 4th…aren’t their contracts already expired???

  3. Replacement officials would be great. They’d be so overwhelmed by the speed of the game they would only make calls that would be an obvious unfair advantage rather than make or ignore calls based on some perceived danger to protect only a certain group of players.

  4. You get what you pay for, NFL. We have part-time officials who frankly flat-out suck. Replacements can’t be all that bad compared to what we have. Maybe they’d be less inclined to call every decent play our teams make back for holding or a false start.

  5. I keep hoping that the NFL will hire full-time officials.

    Not sure why. Doesn’t seem help the NBA one bit.

  6. “…especially if the players union is inclined to make this part of their larger fight with the NFL.”
    “IF”? With litigator De on the case, it’s more a case of “WHEN”.

  7. Beyond Ed Hochuli trying to cram a Whey Protein allowance clause into the terms, what the hell could the officials union be asking for?

    They get overpaid to work 3 hours a week and they’re the only ones in the league that aren’t accountable for anything no matter how bad they screw up. Suck it up and sign the contract.

  8. @steelernation

    dangerous how? because it won’t give steeler nation/mob a chance to buy off the replacement refs like they have the previous refs?
    just askin’

    need to hire younger refs that can actually keep up with the speed of the game, I see this as a good thing..

  9. The officiating crews have impacted the outcome of waaaaay too many games with bad calls. Yet, they were totally out to lunch on the Saints’ bountygate.

    Get rid of ALL the tenured officials. Many of them are so old &/or out of shape, you have to wonder if they deliberately try to slow the game down in order for them to be able to keep up.

    If you can’t pass a fitness exam, & you are directly responsible for the outcome of even one game because of a bad call, you should be GONE for life. Yes, even Ed Hoculi for his boneheaded ‘what-was-he-thinking’ call in the Broncos/Chargers game a few years ago.

    There are only 16 games in a season. It is not right that even one of those games should be lost because of an obvious error on the part of some old man who can scarcely run fast enough to do his job.

    Who cares about the officials? They should take whatever the offer is & thank GAWD they still have a job. For them to dispute the offer, they are waay too comfortable. Change them every few years. They are the clown-car of the NFL.

  10. Hey, let these part-timers go. Allow the attorneys to go back to review their briefs and the gynecologists to view whatever they view in the performance of their occupations. It’s time to hire a full-time, fairly-compensated and highly trained group of referees. Guys who train year round and who would be the best in the business. We don’t need a referee who on a Sunday afternoon is worrying about his Monday morning Opening Argument.

  11. All those beating up on the officials – be careful what you wish for.
    Yes the current bunch do make mistakes, but all the good work they do goes unnoticed.
    Wait till you have officials that lack knowledge and are not as experienced as the current lot. There will be a LOT more blown calls, angst and outcry from fans.
    Be very afraid if we get replacement refs.

  12. Why is NFL football so damn complicated these days? It’s just one giant lawsuit/conflict/ongoing negotiation after another. Just kick off the damn football already. Oh wait, kickoffs are also under scrutiny.

    Maybe the Dhali Lama should be the new commish

  13. It would be a great day for the NFL if the over age-over weight-over ego officials that currently claim part time employment with the league all go back to their “real” jobs. Start auditioning replacements and keep every one of them that proves to be an improvement. Make these new officials full time employees requiring study and physcial training. Make the new labor agreement with them clear that their efforts are subject to constant review and they may be released at any time if their performance is found inadequate.

    It feels like we are over due to make some serious changes.

  14. trollhammer20 says:Jun 4, 2012 11:29 AM

    I keep hoping that the NFL will hire full-time officials.

    Not sure why. Doesn’t seem help the NBA one bit.

    The NBA is a totally different animal. Many, many more plays, essentially starting after every score. When a ref blows a call, he makes it up afterwards. The NBA is notorious for this.

    The NFL, as a multi-billion dollar business, shouldn’t be so cheap. They need full-time refs.

  15. High School refs could do a better job for a lot less money. While we are on this subject. Why don’t official get fined when they miss a call? I mean come on now where is the incentive to do a good job if there are no penalties?

  16. “Retired college officials, officials from smaller conferences and those working in arena football will all be considered for replacement jobs.”

    So in other words if you don’t supply us with players we’ll steal your refs.

    Stay classy NFL

  17. If anything we could get more correct calls because the guys coming in would want to get it right there maybe keeping a job instead of taking there job for granted, i see this as a good thing

  18. dvdman123 says:
    Jun 4, 2012 11:59 AM
    Scab officials… gotta love it.
    What do you suggest, dvdman?

    Delaying the start of the season until the officials sign a new contract?

    Please say it’s not so.

  19. The officials get paid?? Based on the quality of some of their work – inventing unnecessary roughness calls, ignoring on-field mailings, sometimes not knowing the rules and occasionally inuring players with flags – I thought they were just volunteers.

  20. It is a disgrace. With all the revenue the NFL generates it should hire full time officials who are trained properly and held accountable for horrible calls. Also, hire some younger guys that can move a little more quickly and have better eyesight than some of these old men the league runs out there.

  21. Great…maybe Mike Pereira can go back to reffing instead of bouncing from network to network offering what he passes off as insight. The guy rarely second guesses his ex peers. And now they can make The Replacements 2 where Keanu Reeves dresses up as an ex-quarterback turned ref. Hell…maybe even resurrect Billy Crystal’s career and dress him up as a ref.

  22. If I were the Pittsburgh Steelers, I’d be very nervous about replacement officials. They have had a pretty sweet deal with officials over the years. Replacement officials might not honor the “arrangement.”

  23. Is this another situation where the refs want to be full-time and the NFL wants them to be paid as part-time employees? Ridiculous, pay them.

    NFL officiating seems to have gotten slightly better in recent years. At least it’s a heck of a lot better than the NBA. What a disaster that is. MLB is good except when it comes to the strike zone, that’s still a mess. But NFL’s only problem usually is what is and isn’t a holding or PI, and I think things are improving.

  24. Refs basically control the game and they want a bigger cut?


    Unless they are prepared to accept fines and suspensions of things they screw up just like players and coaches do, they can just get bent…..

  25. What are the officials thinking? They’ve got zero leverage. Odds are the replacements will be indistinguishable from the regular guys. Nobody cares who’s wearing the striped shirts. They may not find somebody with as big a guns as Ed Hochili, but he’s the only official I know by name.

  26. Maybe the refs should all resign en masse just like the baseball umps did. Worked out well for them!

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