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(WSCR) According to former NFL head of officials Mike Pereira, the NFL is lying about how much experience some of the replacement officials have.
NFL referees are currently “locked out” as they try to negotiate a new deal with the league, leaving replacement refs to take over.
One of those replacement refs is Craig Ochoa, who worked the Saints-Cardinals Hall of Fame game this past Sunday. Pereira said the NFL wants fans to believe these replacement refs are qualified, but in reality, they are far from it.
“They’ve tried to say that Craig Ochoa, who worked the (Hall of Fame) game, was a BCS official, that he worked in the Big Ten,” Pereira told The McNeil and Spiegel Show. “He didn’t work in the Big Ten. He’s not been a major college official. I don’t think the NFL is going to say that he actually got released midway through the last lingerie football league season as a referee. I don’t think the league is going to put that out. The league wants as little out as possible. They don’t want people talking about it. They don’t want me talking about it. I don’t work for the NFL. I don’t manage the officials either. I don’t have a horse in this race. All I want is to get this thing settled so that I can sit back and watch a game either from my studio in L.A. or on TV. I just to be able to watch the game and know that a game that is so difficult to officiate is at least going to have the most-experienced and best officials available.
LISTEN: Mike Pereira on The McNeil and Spiegel Show
“I feel bad for these replacement people because they’re so overmatched. Not only just the speed of the game, but the interpretation of the rules. It takes so long to learn the rules of the NFL. Timing rules, enforcement rules, it’s a totally different game in which you don’t even let an official work the Super Bowl unless he’s been in the league for five years. That’s really how long it takes to get to your best in the NFL. … There’s no question to me that the integrity of the game will be compromised.