Football Zebras
Disciplinary ActionUmpire Roy Ellison fined game check for player dust-up, reinstated from administrative leave

Umpire Roy Ellison fined game check for player dust-up, reinstated from administrative leave

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The NFL fined umpire Roy Ellison a game check ($9,300) and re-instated him for Week 15, after the league placed him on administrative leave to investigate a post-game confrontation with the Buffalo Bills Jerry Hughes in Week 13. Tom Pelissero, a reporter for, tweeted the information.

Hughes sought out Ellison in the tunnel after the game with the Miami Dolphins. Hughes accused Ellison of calling him a “bitch” during the game. The NFL fined Hughes $53,482.

Scott Green, executive director of the NFL Referees Association, said in a statement e-mailed to Football Zebras, “Roy is back on the field where he should be and the union will consider filing a Grievance objecting to this fine.”

No matter how the human resources paperwork states it, this was a de facto suspension for Ellison. He went on administrative leave, missed one assignment and wasn’t paid for missing that assignment. The last suspension handed down to an official was a paid leave when side judge Rob Vernatchi didn’t detect an erroneously running clock in 2015.

This is the second time the NFL has disciplined Ellison due to a heated exchange with a player.

Ellison is a member of Shawn Hochuli’s crew and will be on the field to officiate the Giants-Titans game this weekend.

Suspending referees uncommon in NFL

Mark Schultz
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?"

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