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NFL preparing to use replacement officials

FoxSports,com is reporting that the NFL has asked its officiating scouting department to start identifying replacement officials to be used this upcoming season. The previous agreement expired at the end of the 2011 season and apparently the NFL and the NFL Referees Association have not been able to come to terms on a new agreement.

“Negotiations are ongoing, and should the two sides reach an agreement in the near future, there will be no need to hire additional officials. This is a contingency plan to make sure the NFL season will continue on schedule as planned.” NFL director of recruiting officials Ron Baynes explained.

Baynes goes on to say that they will target officials who have recently retired from college officiating, as well take a look at semi-professional leagues and lower division college officials who have the still have the ability to work at a high level, but are often overlooked.

Under the expiring deal, it is believed NFL officials made between $70,000 and $140,000 working about 20 games and most referees also hold full time jobs as well.

With the recent focus on player safety and concussions, the job of a referee has become as important as ever. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told FoxSports that the negotiations are ongoing and that they are "optimistic that there will be a successful resolution”.

Mic'd up on the O-Line

Illinois released a mic'd up video this morning of offensive line coach Luke Butkus coaching up his guys up.

Coach Butkus walks around during stretches and gives each player one thing to focus on improving during that practice, and also coaches them up on their footwork during the PAT / field goal units and pull techniques during an individual period.

At about the 2:18 mark, Coach Beckman puts together an all coaches unit to run the screen drill...and the only thing that goes right is Butkus' pancake block on the coach lined up at corner. That alone is worth watching a few times.

Transition from NAIA to D-II: 7-4 in year one

Head coach Bill Conley led Ohio Dominican through their first season as a D-II member this past year, and was able to put together an impressive 7-4 season in the GLIAC, which is one of the premier D-II conferences in the country. Since 2000, a team in the GLIAC has either played in the National Championship game, or won the National Title a total of seven times.

Dominican started football back in 2004, and Conley is only the second football coach in University history. This season will mark his third season at the helm of the Panther program. Previously, Conley spent 17 seasons as an assistant at Ohio State where he built a name as a nationally recognized recruiter

One thing is for sure, Dominican is a program is on the rise. Six seasons spent as an NAIA program (including one conference title and a NAIA National quarterfinal appearance in 2007), then they make the jump to Division II and go 7-4, to top it off they had 16 All Conference selections and 39 players that were named Academic All-GLIAC last season...that's impressive.

The clip below is from their Black vs. Gold spring game.

Inside Scoop: When Leach calls at 4AM, you answer

Paul Volero is the new outside linebackers coach at Washington State with Mike Leach. Watch the video above and hear Volero tell you about the call he got from Coach Leach offering him the job (and his wife's reaction). 

Volero's got a great story and seems to be having the time of his life up in Washington. Says practice and recruiting are going great; but the traffic on the 405 and the 101...not for him.

Sumlin: The move to the SEC has separated us

Kevin Sumlin talked with radio host Paul Finebaum yesterday and spent some time explaining the benefits he and his staff have noticed on the move from the Big 12 to the SEC.

One of the biggest differences is the reception that they've been getting out on the recruiting train.

"Quite frankly, the move to the SEC has really, really, in the state, kind of separated us. I think it's really given a clear choice to prospective students and student-athletes here in the state, given that you have the Big 12, you have the Big East and the SEC and I think that there's some clear differences between the leagues. I've seen the change in recruiting. There are guys out there that understand that the SEC is, without a doubt, the best conference, the best league to play in, particularly when it comes to football."

Sumlin pointed out that most importantly, the move separated them from their in state rival Texas. The new conference platform gives them an opportunity to play in the toughest football conference in the country with, arguably, the best players.

"I was here 10 years ago, and the recruitment in the state...guys would make decisions to go to Austin, they'd come to College Station, go to Norman, go to a couple places, and we're all playing in the same league. As I said, the separation being in the SEC has given guys a clear choice."

As Sumlin sees it, what separates the SEC from the rest of the power conferences is a mix of the recent number of draft choices, great television exposure, and their overall player development.

"Guys that obviously want to play in the NFL, the caliber of players that are in the SEC and the stigma of playing in the league has really, really benefited us, in particular, not only in the class we signed in February, but I think right now where we are in recruiting, there is no doubt it's helped us."

Grad Assistants of the Day - Arizona

A few weeks ago we took a tour through most of the Pac-12 programs. While at Arizona we had the opportunity to sit down with Rich Rod to discuss his staff. Rich didn't stop at his nine assistants, he spent a good amount of time telling us about his grad assistants.

That got us thinking...and led to the video above. An opportunity for coaches across the country to meet Arizona's grad assistants. Throughout the Summer we plan to do more of these introducing everyone to more of these hard working young men who are part of the future of the profession. 

Want us to feature your grad assistants? Let us know via email ([email protected]) or on Twitter @FootballScoop


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NCAA Reminder: Scouting services must register this month

The NCAA has asked us to remind all scouting services and potential users of their services that beginning on June 1st, Division I member institutions will only be permitted to subscribe to scouting services that are approved through the NCAA scouting service approval process. In order to be approved, the scouting service must apply no later than the end of this month. Details are below.


The NCAA has informed us that as of today only about 20 scouting services have applied.

"All In" at Northwest Missouri State

Division II Northwest Missouri State rode one of the most balanced offensive attacks in the country to an 11-3 record last season, before falling to eventual national champ Pittsburg State.

The Bearcats had the highest ranked scoring offense in the nation at almost 49 points per game and racked up over 495 yards per game (#4 nationally). The hype video that they used last season was pretty impressive. The message that opens it up sums up the whole highlight clip.

"The culture of Bearcat football that's developed over the past 17 years will not change. We're going to find special people, that are going to make special plays. That stuff will not stop...and that's what Bearcat football is about."