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Anderson and crew will be downgraded, but no further discipline

The NFL will not fine or suspend any members of Walt Anderson’s crew for some missed calls Monday night.



The NFL will not fine or suspend any members of Walt Anderson’s crew for some missed calls in a controversial Monday Night Football game between the Seahawks and Bills.

In the past, the NFL has fined officials game checks and suspended officials due to judgement calls, rule misapplications, or administrative errors.

Anderson’s crew, like all crews, will be graded for each call they make I can just about guarantee that the end-of-half sequence in Seattle on Monday night will get a bad grade. But for fans, a bad grade is not enough.

Many NFL fans want accountability. They want officials suspended, fined, or fired every week. But do those consequences actually improve officiating?

Barry Mano is the president of the National Association of Sports Officials and publisher of Referee magazine. He contends that fines and suspensions will not improve officiating.

So the NFL and all other professional and college sports need to answer this question when they suspend or fine their officials: Are they doing it to punish? Are they doing it to satisfy a fan base? Or, are they doing it to improve officiating? Any official who has been fined or suspended will tell you, the punishment didn’t make them a better official. But it might take the heat off the front office and help some aggrieved fans feel like they got some justice.

Mark Schultz is a high school football official, freelance writer and journalist. He first became interested in officiating when he was six years old, was watching a NFL game with his father and asked the fateful question, "Dad, what are those guys in the striped shirts doing?"