College

Pac-12 Dumps 11 Football Refs, Hires 16 New Ones

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Pac-12 Athletic Conference (CBS graphic)

Pac-12 Athletic Conference (CBS graphic)

By Tom Fornelli, CBS Sports Eye On College Football

WALNUT CREEK (CBS Sports) — It doesn’t really matter which college football conference you consider yourself a fan of, just about every college football fan has one thing in common: they think the officiating in their conference is terrible. Talk to an SEC fan, he’ll tell you the SEC has terrible officials. The same for the Big Ten fan in your life, or the Big 12 fan. Still, if I had to crown one conference as the home of the worst officials in college football,based on all the games I’ve seen — and I’ve seen plenty — I’d have to name the Pac-10 as the worst in the sport.

It seems the Pac-10, and commissioner Larry Scott in particular, realized this as well, and it’s hoping to ditch this reputation as it becomes the Pac-12. It was announced on Wednesday that the conference was replacing 11 officials with 16 new ones for the first season of Pac-12 play. Mike Pereira, the former head of officiating in the NFL and current on-air rules analyst for the NFL on Fox, was brought on as the conference’s interim coordinator of football officiating, and he talked to the Seattle Times newspaper about the decision.

“I certainly did not think that for a geographic area like the West Coast that can draw from a lot of officials, I certainly didn’t think it was at the level that it could be,” said Pereira. “I’m not saying it was horrible, but it was not at the level that it deserved to be and that this conference deserves to have.”

“We felt like these 16 were better than the 11 that did not have their contracts renewed.”

This brings the Pac-12’s number of officials to 49, which will be broken up into seven teams of seven officials for each game. Pereira also said that the conference will be hiring seven supervisors — six of which come from the NFL — to oversee each position on the field (one for the Line Judge, the umpire etc) and another for the replay booth.

They’ll all be based out of a California command center that will be located in Walnut Creek, which will monitor every Pac-12 game.

(© 2011 CBS Interactive. All rights reserved.)

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