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

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 09:47 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

October 20, 2014 07:12 GMT

NFL

Thursday's Game

New England 27, N.Y. Jets 25

Sunday's Games

St. Louis 28, Seattle 26

Miami 27, Chicago 14

Green Bay 38, Carolina 17

Baltimore 29, Atlanta 7

Washington 19, Tennessee 17

Jacksonville 24, Cleveland 6

Indianapolis 27, Cincinnati 0

Buffalo 17, Minnesota 16

Detroit 24, New Orleans 23

Kansas City 23, San Diego 20

Arizona 24, Oakland 13

Dallas 31, N.Y. Giants 21

Denver 42, San Francisco 17

Open: Philadelphia, Tampa Bay

Monday's Game

Houston at Pittsburgh, 8:30 p.m.

NBA PRESEASON

Sunday's Games

Boston 95, Brooklyn 90

Minnesota 112, Oklahoma City 94

Chicago 101, Charlotte 96

Houston 90, Golden State 83

L.A. Lakers 98, Utah 91

Monday's Games

New Orleans vs. Washington at Baltimore, MD, 7 p.m.

Chicago vs. Cleveland at Columbus, OH, 7 p.m.

Philadelphia at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m.

Milwaukee at New York, 7:30 p.m.

Charlotte at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.

Memphis at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

Sacramento at San Antonio, 8:30 p.m.

NHL

Sunday's Games

Los Angeles 2, Minnesota 1

N.Y. Rangers 4, San Jose 0

Calgary 4, Winnipeg 1

Anaheim 3, St. Louis 0

Monday's Games

Tampa Bay at Edmonton, 9:30 p.m.

MLS

Sunday's Games

Columbus 3, New York 1

Los Angeles 2, Seattle FC 2, tie

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KEYE-TV Sports Team


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