Mike Carey is one of the more visible referees in the NFL and he believes there is no doubt there would be a significant impact to the league if it employs replacement officials in the regular season.
“I think unquestionably,” Carey said during a visit on XX Sports Radio in San Diego, according to sportsradiointerviews.com. “You just don’t walk out on a field and contend with that speed and size and impact and the complexity of the NFL rules. It’s a completely different game.”
That is one of the issues facing the league as it recruits officials from the college ranks, Arena League and elsewhere. It is a different game.
“I don’t know (about negotiations) because I don’t know the details of either side’s proposal specifically,” Carey said. “That’s all confidential discussion. But I’m surprised at it, to tell you the truth, because the board we have is a pretty amenable board.”
Carey believes the most successful professional sports league should take care of its officials.
“From my position, I think that all of the major league officials get paid pretty much the same amount, independent of number of games or how hard they have to prepare or when they work, because all of the seasons are about seven months long,” he said. “So we believe that we should be — I believe, anyway — that we should be paid on par with all the other officials, especially that we’re the wealthiest league there is.”
This isn’t getting the attention of the labor battle between players and owners from a year ago. But if this situation carries through preseason and close to the regular season, it will get noticed more. Carey makes a valid point about replacement officials and no one wants to see games potentially decided by inexperienced referees.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune