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Restrictions on College Football Officials: How Much is Too Much?

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 10:47 PM CDT
In football, the best officials are almost invisible. If they're perfect, or rather if fans think they're perfect, officials could go four full quarters without even being noticed. However, today's 24 hour news cycle and social media craze has put a hold on any anonymity college football officials once had.

"Class and professionalism is required always not just while you're on the field," said Steve Shaw, Southeastern Conference Coordinator of Football Officials.

Shaw, a 21 year veteran official, prohibits his SEC crew members from having a personal Facebook or Twitter account.

"That may seem a little harsh but if you want to be an SEC official, that's really where we need to be," Shaw told KEYE TV sports.

The Big 12 Conference does allow its officials to engage in social media, but Conference Coordinator of Officials Walt Anderson says the league implores using good judgement online, and that includes family and friends.

"If you've got a Facebook account, it better be very generic and your family needs to understand the sensitivity that's involved there," Anderson said.

But what about connections that predate social networks? How much is too much when it comes to an association between an official and a conference school? For both the Big 12 and SEC, it's black and white.

If an official has any financial commitment to a school, ranging from booster clubs to business contracts to a son or daughter's tuition, he cannot call a game involving that school. If an SEC official player for or with a current SEC head coach, that official cannot be assigned to that school's games. In the Big 12, if an official played for a current Big 12 school, while he can officiate that team's non-conference schedule, he is not permitted to call a Big 12 game involving his former team.

To stay completely transparent, the SEC even goes as far as to enforce wardrobe requirements for officials' family members attending the game. While at the stadium, they are not allowed to wear the school colors of either team involved in the game their family member is officiating.

"We want to avoid any type of potential conflict," says Shaw.

So on Saturdays, officials are not only enforcing rules, they are abiding by them. Because while the actual game may be just 60 minutes long, the spotlight on the refs outlasts any overtime.Restrictions on College Football Officials: How Much is Too Much?


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Scores & Schedules

January 29, 2015 08:06 GMT

NBA

Wednesday's Games

Philadelphia 89, Detroit 69

Cleveland 99, Portland 94

Toronto 119, Sacramento 102

Denver 93, New Orleans 85

Houston 99, Dallas 94

Minnesota 110, Boston 98

Atlanta 113, Brooklyn 102

New York 100, Oklahoma City 92

San Antonio 95, Charlotte 86

L.A. Clippers 94, Utah 89

Phoenix 106, Washington 98

Thursday's Games

Milwaukee at Orlando, 7 p.m.

New York at Indiana, 7 p.m.

Denver at Memphis, 8 p.m.

Chicago at L.A. Lakers, 10:30 p.m.

NHL

Wednesday's Games

New Jersey 2, Toronto 1, SO

Washington 4, Pittsburgh 0

Los Angeles 4, Chicago 3

Thursday's Games

Boston at N.Y. Islanders, 7 p.m.

Montreal at N.Y. Rangers, 7 p.m.

Winnipeg at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.

Arizona at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.

Dallas at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.

Detroit at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.

Columbus at Florida, 7:30 p.m.

Nashville at St. Louis, 8 p.m.

Minnesota at Calgary, 9 p.m.

Buffalo at Edmonton, 9:30 p.m.

Anaheim at San Jose, 10 p.m.

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KEYE-TV Sports Team


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