NFL to seek replacement referees after talks fail
11:23 a.m. CDT, June 4, 2012
With negotiations having broken down between the NFL and its officials on a new collective bargain agreement, the league has begun the process of identifying replacements to work games this season.
The league's six-year contract with the NFL Referees Association expired May 31 and attempts to reach a new deal have failed. The latest mediation efforts took place Sunday in Washington, the NFL said in a release Monday. Talks began last October.
"Our goal is to maintain the highest quality of officiating for our teams, players and fans, including proper enforcement of the playing rules and efficient management of our games," the NFL said in a statement. "We have great respect for our officials and in keeping with that view have made a proposal that includes substantial increases in compensation for all game officials."
Replacement officials could potentially come from non-BCS conferences, retired elite NCAA officials and the Arena league, ESPN.com reported. BCS conference are run by NFL officials and that relationship is the reason the NFL will look elsewhere for subs.
Replacements were called in to work one preseason and one regular-season game in 2001 before a deal was reached with NFL officials after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The NFL said it will begin regional traning sessions for officials later this month.