The Pac-12 began the overhaul of its football officiating on Wednesday as 11 officials were fired ahead of the 2011 season. Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott set about to change the culture and public perception of the conference's football officiating just about a month ago, hiring Mike Pereira to lead a much-maligned crew that's caught its fair-share of heat for questionable calls on the field. Thursday's move, firing 11 officials and hiring 16 new ones, gives the Pac-12 crew a fresh-look in hopes of improving the product on the field.
The changes were reported by The Seattle Times' Bob Condotta, The additional officials will be needed this season as the Pac-10 becomes the Pac-12, adding Colorado and Utah.
"We felt like these 16 were better than the 11 that did not have their contracts renewed," Pereira said.
Adding 16 officials will give the new Pac-12 a total of 49, or seven seven-man crews, Pereira said. An additional crew was needed with the conference expanding from 10 to 12 teams for 2011, adding Utah and Colorado.
It's the biggest turnover from a year-to-year basis the conference has seen in a long time, if ever. The overall goal is to change the culture, with the mass-firing serving as a quick way to shake-up the officiating crews and give the conference fresh pairs of eyes.
In addition to the staffing changes, Pereira will also hire seven supervisors to oversee each position on the field, giving the conference an added layer of evaluation. The supervisors will be made up of NFL officials, giving Pereira and the conference increased credibility while holding the officials more accountable than they have been in the past.
For more the latest, check out the rest of our Pac-12 officiating StoryStream.