It took only five years from the collective bargaining agreement, but the NFL now has a partial staff of full-time officials. The league announced the 21 officials who were promoted to full-time status, a list that includes at least two officials at each of the on-field positions. Full-time applicants were only permitted from the current officiating staff.
The process to get full-time officials was ensnared in negotiation with the officials’ union and the league. When four officials were slated to become full time, the plan was to reclassify them as front-office personnel, and thus lose the benefits and protections of the union. After that attempt and others have failed, executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent has made full-time officiating a priority initiative.
Carl Johnson was named a full-time official when he returned to the field after a short stint as the vice president of officiating. This was not an issue at the time, as Johnson was already considered a front-office employee in his previous role. Johnson is no longer a full-time official.
What this new role will entail is yet to be seen, at least in the regular season. Officials invest full-time hours in season, despite holding down outside employment in many situations. Any full-time official is still permitted to have an outside occupation, but the terms dictate that the NFL position has primacy, particularly as it pertains to travel demands. After the Super Bowl, the officiating department gives the officials a no-contact “dark period” that lasts until May 15. Full-time officials will no longer have that dark period.
These full-time positions are being characterized as experimental, as the league will likely re-evaluate next summer.
Football Zebras has learned that the league conducted brief, in-person interviews with the full-time applicants. There were also more applicants than those promoted, so some were turned down in the process.
The 21 officials are listed below with the occupation that was furnished by the officials to the NFL Communications Department.
|college officiating coordinator, retired dentist
|retired commercial insurance underwriter
|high school principal
|North Carolina State
|director, parts logistics and supply chain management
|physical education teacher
|general manager, safety services
|software QA tester
|director of operations and management
|custom home builder (former NFL player)
|sales, printing and promotions
|quality control manager
|computer systems analyst