Veteran umpire Undrey Wash will not be returning in 2017 in an offseason roster move by the league. The 17-year veteran wore number 96 during his NFL career.
Wash joined the NFL in 2000 as an umpire on referee Walt Coleman’s crew. Over the years, Wash also worked on crews led by Bill Leavy, Larry Nemmers, Carl Cheffers and Terry McAulay. Wash was first eligible for the playoffs in 2001, and he worked that season’s Raiders-Patriots divisional playoff game — the Tuck Rule game. The rule which allowed the Patriots to complete the game-tying drive and launch a dynasty was repealed for the 2013 season.
In his second season of eligibility, Wash called the AFC Championship Game. All in all, Wash had 11 on-field assignments in the postseason, including Super Bowl XLIV. According to a Referee Magazine article, he almost made it on the field in Super Bowl XL. Wash was the alternate umpire for the game. During the first half, Garth DeFelice tweaked his leg. As he got treatment at halftime, he turned to Wash and told him to “be ready.” DeFelice officiated the rest of the game but Wash almost became the first alternate into the Super Bowl (no Super Bowl alternate has ever gotten on the field).
While Wash enjoyed early playoff success, his playoff appearances were more sporadic after his Super Bowl appearance. In the last seven years of his career, Wash worked three playoff games — two divisional games and one wild card. He did not get any on-field or alternate playoff assignments in the last two seasons. Multiple sources say this was at least partially due to conflicts between him and key officiating department staff — conflicts which purportedly lead to his departure.
Wash did not respond to our requests for comment.
We salute Undrey Wash for his distinguished NFL career and wish him the best in the future.
Ben Austro contributed to this report.