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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

September 18, 2014 07:15 GMT

INTERLEAGUE

Pittsburgh 9 Boston 1

AMERICAN LEAGUE Wednesday's Games

Pittsburgh 9, Boston 1

Baltimore 6, Toronto 1

N.Y. Yankees 3, Tampa Bay 2

Kansas City 6, Chicago White Sox 2

Cleveland 2, Houston 0

Minnesota 8, Detroit 4

L.A. Angels 5, Seattle 0

Texas 6, Oakland 1

Thursday's Games

Texas (N.Martinez 3-11) at Oakland (Gray 13-8), 3:35 p.m.

Toronto (Dickey 13-12) at N.Y. Yankees (Greene 5-3), 7:05 p.m.

Cleveland (Salazar 6-7) at Houston (Feldman 8-11), 8:10 p.m.

Seattle (F.Hernandez 14-5) at L.A. Angels (Weaver 17-8), 10:05 p.m.

NATIONAL LEAGUE Wednesday's Games

Colorado 16, L.A. Dodgers 2

San Francisco 4, Arizona 2

Pittsburgh 9, Boston 1

Miami 4, N.Y. Mets 3

Atlanta 3, Washington 1

Chicago Cubs 3, Cincinnati 1

St. Louis 2, Milwaukee 0

Philadelphia 5, San Diego 2

Thursday's Games

Washington (G.Gonzalez 8-10) at Miami (Hand 3-7), 7:10 p.m.

L.A. Dodgers (Greinke 15-8) at Chicago Cubs (Wada 4-3), 8:05 p.m.

Milwaukee (Lohse 12-9) at St. Louis (S.Miller 10-9), 8:15 p.m.

Arizona (Nuno 0-6) at Colorado (Flande 0-5), 8:40 p.m.

Philadelphia (K.Kendrick 9-12) at San Diego (Erlin 3-4), 9:10 p.m.

INTERLEAGUE

Boston (Workman 1-9) at Pittsburgh (Cole 9-5), 7:05 p.m.

NFL

Thursday, Sep. 18

Tampa Bay at Atlanta, 8:25 p.m.

Sunday, Sep. 21

Dallas at St. Louis, 1 p.m.

Minnesota at New Orleans, 1 p.m.

San Diego at Buffalo, 1 p.m.

Washington at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.

Houston at N.Y. Giants, 1 p.m.

Tennessee at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.

Baltimore at Cleveland, 1 p.m.

Green Bay at Detroit, 1 p.m.

Indianapolis at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.

Oakland at New England, 1 p.m.

San Francisco at Arizona, 4:05 p.m.

Denver at Seattle, 4:25 p.m.

Kansas City at Miami, 4:25 p.m.

Pittsburgh at Carolina, 8:30 p.m.

Monday, Sep. 22

Chicago at N.Y. Jets, 8:30 p.m.

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KEYE-TV Sports Team


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