NFL Seeking Replacement Officials After Talks Fall Apart
The NFL’s front office on Sunday announced that talks have broken off with NFL officials after both sides refused to agree on a new contract for the 2012-2012 NFL season. The current contract with the NFL’s officiating crews ran out on June 1, 2012.
News of the failed talks was sent to owners of all 32 NFL teams on Sunday. The email sent by the league’s front office says new officials are currently being recruited. The emails says officials will be considered from every conference but the BCS which is run by NFL officials. The league claims it doesn’t want to put the BC in an awkward situation by recruiting from within its ranks.
The NFL is currently examining retired Elite NCAA officials and small college conference and arena football referees.
A move towards new recruiting should not come as a surprise, last month the league sent a memo to officiating scouts in which it asked them to identify potential replacements should talks break down.
This wouldn’t be the first time the NFL has used replacement officials, in 2001 the first weekend of the regular season was run by replacements, however following 9/11 a new deal was agreed upon and put into place until 2005. In 2006 the league and its officiating squad agreed on another 5 year contract which has now run its course.
Failed talks which were conducted with the NFL Referees Association means 121 on-field officials will not have jobs in the immediate future. Also being replaced are 17 replay officials. The NFL Referees Association is also responsible for more than 100 retired officials.
What caused the talks to fall apart is still unknown.