NFL Referees Association calls firing of official Hugo Cruz “reckless”

Getty Images

The NFL has fired official Hugo Cruz, who missed a big call in this year’s Chargers-Browns game and reportedly had several other missed calls this season. Unsurprisingly, the union representing officials is not happy about that.

The NFL Referees Association released a statement ripping the league for terminating Cruz.

“The NFL has a troubling history of knee-jerk reactions with an eye on public relations, and clearly it has not learned from past mistakes,” the statement said. “The NFLRA will protect the collectively bargained rights of all officials and will challenge this reckless decision through the Grievance process.”

If Cruz had been fired simply for missing one call, the criticism of the league as making “knee-jerk reactions” would be understandable. But Cruz was reportedly already on thin ice for other missed calls before the missed false start that should have negated a Chargers touchdown. Eventually, enough missed calls should result in an official losing his job. Players and coaches lose their jobs if they screw up too many times, and officials should as well.

71 responses to “NFL Referees Association calls firing of official Hugo Cruz “reckless”

  1. Perception is really and you can’t have the fans wondering if he either incompetent or on the take.

  2. The NFL Referees Association has lived a charmed life for far too long. It’s about time someone in their brood should be held accountable.

  3. Refs should be accountable like everyone else on the field. Players get released all the time and coaches get fired mid season as well. #abouttime

  4. He isn’t the only one that should be fired on the Officiating Crew. Hochuli’s son needs to go as well.

  5. Players and coaches lose their jobs if they screw up too many times, and officials should as well

    Indeed…

  6. Players and coaches lose their jobs if they screw up too many times, and officials should as well.

    Exactly…and it’s about time.

  7. Best move the NFL has made in a long time. People work harder when they know there’s a chance they’ll get canned if the screw up.

  8. The NFL should have just permanently given him patriots games, because the refs routinely “miss” holding and offensive pass interference calls against them anyway.

  9. Should have fired Hochuli after that hit on Mayfield. Does anyone believe that any persons aged 50 and older can keep up with 22 men who average 260 pounds and run 40 yards in five or fewer seconds? The age limit for referees should be 45 years old. There is no shortage of women and men below that age who can handle the job effectively and professionally.

  10. If I go to work and dont do my Job correctly then I get fired. Whats the deal here? The guy has screwed up on multiple occassions and he lost his job. I feel for the guy but thats how this world works.

  11. It is called raising the bar. NFL officiating (game by game) is only as good as the “worst” member on the officiating team. It is about time that the NFL ensured that their officials were always “on-the-ball” for the entire game.

  12. If they fired every incompetent, lousy ref…….they would all be gone. Maybe the games gotten too fast for many of them, but most are bad.

  13. Not supporting this guy or his missed calls, but do they have a process in place to first suspend someone without pay and then perhaps give another chance after remedial measures? Seems prudent if not. Just wondering. Also missed calls seem less harmful than phantom made up calls that they get away with far too often imho.

  14. This guy was the first…let’s hope it puts the rest on notice…some of the calls and non-calls are so obvious and noticable…be held accountable…

  15. A billion dollar company like the NFL has part time Refs. Doesn’t make sense. With that kind of revenue, they should have full timers who are younger, more athletically inclined, better vision making better calls. I understand the union and all that, but you can’t have a quality product with a 1 substandard ingredient. Just my opinion.

  16. No sympathy from me. Actually more refs need to be let go. Cruz isn’t the only incompetent one.

    It shouldn’t be a lifetime gig or you where keep your job just by showing up. Just like excellence is required of the players to keep their jobs, the same should be the case for the refs.

  17. Why does the NFLRA always pearl clutch so much? Seriously, players get criticized when they do a bad job, coaches and front office personnel get criticized when they do a bad job, but the Refs are so sensitive that they can’t take the smallest amount of criticism when they do a bad job? It’s pathetic really, be a nice change of pace for them to admit to when they make bad calls and strive to be better.

  18. Players and coaches constantly lose their jobs based on poor performance, why should the refs be any different? This is the highest level of football on the planet, there’s no room for scrubs in any position.

  19. “Cruz was reportedly already on thin ice for other missed calls”.
    _________

    “Reportedly” on thin ice? “Reportedly” according to who? Apparently people who usually decry anonymous sources are accepting unsubstantiated rumors about Cruz’s job performance. How about demanding that the NFL release whatever information it allegedly has on these other missed calls so everyone can judge for themselves.

  20. Last think you need is officials afraid to make or miss calls. Also remember how bad the refs were when they brought in replacement refs. This is a hard job and sometimes calls are going to be missed. I think it was a pretty rough decision by the league mid season.

  21. While I don’t have a problem with someonebeing fired for incompetence, most jobs have a disciplinary process. For example: counseling/coaching, reprimand, suspension and then termination.

    I think that he should have been suspended, and at least given one more chance to improve. prior to being fired.

  22. This will probably get deleted by the PC agenda defenders but…..does anyone believe that his ethnicity had nothing to do with him being elevated to the position or remaining in it undeservedly. Ahh…the delusions of affirmative action at work.

  23. How about demanding that the NFL release whatever information it allegedly has on these other missed calls so everyone can judge for themselves.

    How about demanding every company does this they elect to fire an employee that they deem horrible at his job? Not going to happen. Getting fired is the chance you take when you work for someone and don’t do your job well in the eyes of your employer.

  24. Part of the problem, is he’s guys are lawyers judges and other high-paying officials with incredible integrity. But there’s far enough to be able to convolute the rules to apply to why they called it. I applaud this, but totally agree dead like the NHL, they need more younger guys that can cover the field with better vision so they couldn’t see what actually happens in this fast-paced game. At 51 I know my eyesight is not near as good as it was 10 years ago

  25. So many have said it before…if you don’t perform well at your job you get fired. Or, if you don’t show up for you job you get fired. Right Le’Veon Bell.

  26. I haven’t watched a game in years that wasn’t horribly officiated. Cruz is no worse that the average official. They should all have to go to special classes to learn how to call games. The NFL is eating itself. NFL really must stand for “Not For Long”.

  27. shlort says:
    October 25, 2018 at 9:14 pm
    I haven’t watched a game in years that wasn’t horribly officiated. Cruz is no worse that the average official. They should all have to go to special classes to learn how to call games. The NFL is eating itself. NFL really must stand for “Not For Long”.
    ————
    Understand completely. And I will refuse to watch another NFL game after tonight. Until Sunday.

  28. So, if the NFL will can an official for missing a couple of calls, why is Pete Morelli still holding a job after that complete hatchet job that he and his crew performed on the Vikings in the 2009 NFCCG?

  29. cardinealsfan20 says:
    October 25, 2018 at 7:31 pm
    “Reportedly” on thin ice? “Reportedly” according to who? Apparently people who usually decry anonymous sources are accepting unsubstantiated rumors about Cruz’s job performance. How about demanding that the NFL release whatever information it allegedly has on these other missed calls so everyone can judge for themselves.
    ===================

    Exactly. How many bad/missed calls did it take for Cruz to reach “thin ice” status? How many other refs are near that threshold now? Who was on thin ice last season and how was their situation handled?

    On one hand, it’s a positive that a bad official was removed. On the other hand, this opens up questions on how this decision was reached and if it could have been done in prior seasons.

  30. So Hugo may have been the example, but it needs to start somewhere. Refs have been underperforming with seemingly no accountability for a long time. In any other profession there is accountability for poor performance. The NFL refs deserve the same.

  31. Good, do your job or someone else will do it for you. He has made some terrible calls this year, and lucky he’s made it this far. Good to see the NFL holding the refs accountable.

  32. don’t see how he could have missed the false start…as a referee your eyes should be on the ball/line of scrimmage before the play starts

    he’s at fault and his termination is with cause.

  33. vecchiaio says:
    October 25, 2018 at 6:13 pm
    Should have fired Hochuli after that hit on Mayfield. Does anyone believe that any persons aged 50 and older can keep up with 22 men who average 260 pounds and run 40 yards in five or fewer seconds? The age limit for referees should be 45 years old. There is no shortage of women and men below that age who can handle the job effectively and professionally.

    FIFA does not allow referees and assistant referees to work past 45.

    The problem is that at every level of football, officials must start over because of the myriad of rule differences. It isn’t like baseball or basketball, where there may be rule differences, but the game is basically the same. And the NFL requires 10 years of college experience, so many rookie officials are already over 45. It’s not like the pre-merger days when legendary referee Jim Tunney became an NFL official at 32 and a referee at 39.

  34. Players and coaches lose their jobs if they screw up too many times, and officials should as well.
    ————————————————–
    Agreed! Soooooo, why does Jason Garrett STILL have a job?????? We’ve suffered long enough!

  35. With all the high tech, start putting RF tagss in everything; the ball(both ends), uniforms, lines (side, goal, yard), etc. Have it all networked to Micro$oft AI, and charge them for the free advertising. Once it gets going slowing take 1 official off the field every year or 2. See what the Union says then.

  36. They should lose their jobs for making Phantom calls too. Gambling probably plays a part with those. The Lions, alone, have had at least 3 TDs called back on phantom, or very weak calls, and I’m being conservative here.
    I can’t speak for fans of other teams, but so far, IMO, officiating is worse than ever.

  37. There is way more to this story than blown calls. Refs blow calls all the time. It appeared watching that Browns, Chargers game, that the Browns players gave up because of several very questionable calls when the game was still in reach. The NFL is covering up something. If you don’t think there are NFL/Mob ties, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

  38. As a Browns fan Honalulublue, Detroit gets it even worse. I will never forget the Calvin Johnson touchdown taken away. It’s too obvious that there are certain teams that they do not want in the playoff picture. It’s been that way for years.

  39. So it’s now established that a ref with a handful of incorrect or non calls will be fired?

    If that’s really the criteria, we should be seeing many, many more pink slips being issued between now and February.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!