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If an NCAA Div. II supervisor of officials thinks replacement refs are out of their league, what is Roger Goodell thinking?
September 25, 2012 - Matt Wellens
MARQUETTE — Prior to Week 1 of the National Football League season and during Week 2 of the NCAA Division II college season, I spoke at length with Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Association Supervisor of Football Officials Mike McCann about how the lockout was affecting the league of Northern Michigan University.
McCann had to be careful about what he said in the Superior Dome press box prior to the Wildcats’ home opener against Wisconsin-La Crosse. The lockout of the regular NFL referees and hiring of replacements from the lower college ranks had spurred a lot of tension.
After all, those who left the Div. II, Div. III, NAIA or high school ranks are considered scabs in a labor dispute. The world of football officiating is a small world. Those who took an NFL job will most likely never referee a college football game again in their lifetime.
McCann didn’t mince words, however, when I asked whether or not these replacements were ready for the NFL. Could they handle it? Are they literally and figuratively out of their league?
Is this too big of a jump?
“The difference in the size of the athletes, and more so, the speed of the athletes, doesn't quite compare to what we see play after play in the GLIAC,” McCann said about the NFL. “It’s not that we don't have NFL-caliber athletes in the GLIAC. We do, but not every play and not an entire team. There is a huge speed difference. Is it a jump? You bet it is a jump.”
So I ask NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the 32 league owners he represents this question?
If an NCAA Div. II supervisor of officials thinks these officials are out of their league, what kind of hallucinogens have warped your minds into thinking these guys are fit to represent the shield you seem to hold in such high esteem?
How can you watch the final play of Monday Night Football in Week 3, and say with a straight face the Seattle Seahawks defeated the Green Bay Packers, that M.D. Jennings didn’t have possession of that ball first, before Golden Tate snuck a hand in late?
Right now, McCann sounds like a genius. You, National Football League, look like fools.
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Officials signal after Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate pulled in a last-second pass for a touchdown from quarterback Russell Wilson to defeat the Green Bay Packers 14-12 in an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 24, 2012, in Seattle. The touchdown call stood after review. (AP Photo/seattlepi.com, Joshua Trujillo)