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NFL hires 21 full-time officials



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.

      Yrs 2017 crew College Occupation
R 122 Brad Allen 4   Pembroke State non-profit CEO
R 66 Walt Anderson 22   Texas college officiating coordinator, retired dentist
R 23 Jerome Boger 14   Morehouse College retired commercial insurance underwriter
R 135 Pete Morelli 21   St. Mary’s high school principal
U 20 Barry Anderson 11 Wrolstad North Carolina State builder/developer
U 64 Dan Ferrell 15 (swing) Cal State-Fullerton director, parts logistics and supply chain management
U 129 Bill Schuster 18 (swing) Alfred insurance broker
DJ 74 Derick Bowers 15 Coleman East Central sales representative
DJ 134 Ed Camp 18 Boger William Paterson physical education teacher
LJ 59 Rusty Baynes 8 Hochuli Auburn-Montgomery general manager, safety services
LJ 10 Julian Mapp 9 Wrolstad Grambling State software QA tester
LJ 9 Mark Perlman 17 Vinovich Salem teacher
LJ 84 Mark Steinkerchner 24 Torbert Akron vice-president
FJ 97 Tom Hill 19 Allen Carson Newman teacher
FJ 33 Steve Zimmer 21 Wrolstad Hofstra attorney
SJ 41 Boris Cheek 22 Morelli Morgan State director of operations and management
SJ 120 Jonah Monroe 3 McAulay Arkansas systems engineer
BJ 133 Steve Freeman 17 Triplette Mississippi State custom home builder (former NFL player)
BJ 93 Scott Helverson 15 Hochuli Iowa sales, printing and promotions
BJ 111 Terrence Miles 10 Coleman Arizona State quality control manager
BJ 12 Greg Steed 15 Morelli Howard computer systems analyst

Ben Austro is the editor and founder of Football Zebras and the author of So You Think You Know Football?: The Armchair Ref's Guide to the Official Rules (on sale now)

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