Report: Talks between NFL, officials break down
Posted by Josh Alper on June 4, 2012, 11:06 AM EDT

With their contract set to expire on May 31st, the NFL and the union for the league’s officials met for mediation in Washington D.C. in hopes of working out a new deal for the 2012 season and beyond.

It does not seem to have been a success. The old contract expried and Adam Schefter of ESPN reports Monday that the talks have broken off between the two sides. As a result, the NFL has advised all 32 teams that they will now start working to hire replacement officials.

The NFL will be looking everywhere but BCS conferences for these officials. Per Schefter, the close relationship between BCS and NFL officials is causing the league to look elsewhere in order to avoid putting BCS officials in a tough spot. Retired college officials, officials from smaller conferences and those working in arena football will all be considered for replacement jobs.

There was a similar need for replacement officials 11 years ago, but that was long before the league and players became so focused on issues related to on-field safety. That will make this effort more complicated, especially if the players union is inclined to make this part of their larger fight with the NFL.

NFL will start hiring, training replacement officials this month
Posted by Michael David Smith on June 4, 2012, 12:00 PM EDT

The NFL has confirmed that it will begin hiring and training replacement officials this month after talks broke down on a new contract with the current group of officials.

“Negotiations with the NFL Referees Association on a new collective bargaining agreement remain unresolved and the previous CBA has expired,” the league said in a statement. “Therefore, in order to ensure that there is no disruption to NFL games this season we will proceed immediately with the hiring and training of replacement officials.”

Regional training sessions for replacement officials will begin in June, the league said, in an effort to have the replacement officials ready to go if a deal with the regular refs is still unresolved when the regular season starts.

“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 league said in its statement.

The NFL’s previous six-year agreement with its officials expired this year. Although negotiations on a new CBA with the officials began in October, progress remains slow.