The NFL and the NFL Referees Association agreed on a new seven-year Collective Bargaining Agreement last weekend and one of the deal points the two sides agreed to involves the hiring of someone to coordinate training and development of officials.
The league will hire a vice president to oversee that work and is designed to revive an existing training program. That program has gone from nine trainers to two trainers in recent years and NFLRA executive director Scott Green explained what they hope to accomplish by focusing on that area.
“The trainers wouldn’t be involved in grading officials,” Green said, via Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com. “It would be more of a mutual mentor-type relationship. They would be asking, ‘What can I help you get better at?’ That sort of thing.”
The need for additional training and development resources could be exacerbated by another deal point. The CBA includes a one-time incentive to officials with at least 20 years of experience to retire before next season. There are 23 officials who qualify and a slew of new hires would make the training process all the more important.