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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

July 31, 2014 07:09 GMT

INTERLEAGUE

Milwaukee 5 Tampa Bay 0

AMERICAN LEAGUE Wednesday's Games

Houston 8, Oakland 1

Baltimore 4, L.A. Angels 3

Cleveland 2, Seattle 0

Detroit 7, Chicago White Sox 2

Toronto 6, Boston 1

Texas 3, N.Y. Yankees 2

Kansas City 3, Minnesota 2

Thursday's Games

Chicago White Sox (Joh.Danks 9-6) at Detroit (Smyly 6-9), 1:08 p.m.

L.A. Angels (Skaggs 5-5) at Baltimore (B.Norris 8-7), 7:05 p.m.

Seattle (C.Young 9-6) at Cleveland (McAllister 3-6), 7:05 p.m.

Minnesota (Correia 5-13) at Kansas City (Ventura 7-8), 8:10 p.m.

Toronto (Hutchison 7-9) at Houston (Cosart 9-7), 8:10 p.m.

NATIONAL LEAGUE Wednesday's Games

N.Y. Mets 11, Philadelphia 2

Arizona 5, Cincinnati 4

Washington 4, Miami 3

San Francisco 7, Pittsburgh 5

Colorado 6, Chicago Cubs 4, 10 innings

L.A. Dodgers 3, Atlanta 2, 10 innings

San Diego 12, St. Louis 1

Thursday's Games

Colorado (P.Hernandez 0-0) at Chicago Cubs (Arrieta 5-2), 2:20 p.m.

St. Louis (S.Miller 7-8) at San Diego (Despaigne 2-2), 3:40 p.m.

Philadelphia (Cl.Lee 4-5) at Washington (G.Gonzalez 6-6), 7:05 p.m.

Cincinnati (Cueto 11-6) at Miami (Koehler 7-7), 7:10 p.m.

Pittsburgh (Locke 2-2) at Arizona (Collmenter 8-5), 9:40 p.m.

Atlanta (Teheran 10-6) at L.A. Dodgers (Kershaw 12-2), 10:10 p.m.

WNBA

Wednesday's Games

No games scheduled=

Thursday's Games

New York at Chicago, 8 p.m.

Phoenix at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Atlanta at Tulsa, 8 p.m.

Indiana at Seattle, 10 p.m.

MLS

Wednesday's Games

D.C. United 3, Toronto FC 0

New England 3, Colorado 0

Chicago 0, Vancouver 0, tie

Real Salt Lake 1, New York 1, tie

Friday, Aug. 1

Philadelphia at Sporting Kansas City, 8 p.m.

Longhorn Football Scoreboard

Longhorn Football News

 

KEYE-TV Sports Team


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