Big turnover with Big 12 referees

The Big 12 Conference features exciting, up-tempo college football with teams in the national championship hunt almost every season. The conference needs good officials -- especially good referees. Greg Burks, supervisor of officials, had a big challenge this offseason. He had to replace four referees. Cooper Castleberry (19 years), Mike Defee (14

Throwback to 2007 – Warren Sapp melts down and is ejected by Jerome Boger’s crew

On December 23, 2007, Jerome Boger's crew allowed Warren Sapp to beat the traffic to the mall and get his Christmas shopping done early. In a bizarre sequence of events, Sapp totally lost his composure, the Oakland Raiders were flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct four times, with three of the fouls assigned

College football referee Mike Defee takes position in NFL front office

Big 12 referee Mike Defee, who has officiated every major bowl game, and who gained fame during the 2017 College Football National Championship game, is retiring from active officiating to take a position in the NFL front office. Defee's new job is to coach current NFL officials, specifically focusing on the

Throwback to 1986 – Jerry Markbreit’s only NFL ejection

While many television networks are continuing to re-air feature games with memorable performances, Football Zebras is going behind the stripes to highlight some throwback moments from NFL officials. Let's go back to November of 1986. Jerry Markbreit's crew was assigned a Bears-Packers game at Soldier Field in Chicago. The season before, the

COVID-19 forces a rushed offseason for NFL officials

The NFL officiating staff usually has a smooth and orderly start to its season. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic will throw monkey wrenches into that smooth and orderly start. No easing into the season The officiating "new year" starts on May 15. That's when the officials meet for a mini-clinic in New

Truncated offseason means less time to consider, vote on rule changes

Embed from Getty Images Updated 4/1/20 to reflect owners approving expanded playoffs As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to run it's dangerous course, it appears that there will be less, if any, traditional offseason time. Already, the in-person league meetings have been canceled. The owners could meet met via teleconference sometime this week, to

NFL Annual Meeting canceled, rules changes vote put off until May

Commissioner Roger Goodell announced today that after "careful consideration and consultation with medical experts," the NFL has canceled the March 29-April 1, Annual Meeting due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic. Instead, the league will conduct its business at the NFL Spring Meeting, scheduled for May 19-20. This means that the NFL Competition