There has been a wide perception that of all the major conferences, the Pac-10 has the worst officiating crews and has been front and center at some of the most controversial decisions in college football. Here's a brief summary of some of the worst calls over the past few years.
Larry Scott is ensuring the Pac-12 does not suffer from a similar perception problem. According to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times, 11 of the worst referees have been released, and 16 have been hired to take their place from the Big 12, MWC, & WAC (the additional refs are needed because of the extra games that'll result from the addition of Colorado and Utah).
Mike Pereira, the Pac-12's interim coordinator of football officiating, has also made these additional changes.
- Two of the head referees that are remaining will be moved to other positions in the seven man crews. No raises were needed to entice these new refs. They are mostly from the Colorado/Utah area and were interested in being part of a bigger conference like the Pac-12.
- Some of the released officials will be used as assistants in the replay booth.
- Eight supervisors will be hired, seven to supervise each of the officiating positions, plus one to supervise the replay booth officials. Six of them are NFL officials who will work with the Pac-12 and conduct conference calls with the officials they're in charge of.
- Many Pac-12 officials will be working spring practices and games, and other officials will be evaluated to judge their worth as future Pac-12 refs. I'm not sure if they were used before.
- An officiating command center will be built next to the conference's current offices in Walnut Creek, similar to all the other major conferences.
This is the first step in the right direction for Commissioner Scott in ensuring the highest quality of judgment is ensured on the football field by the guardians of the rulebook. The next step (and the big step) will be to fix basketball officiating, which is by far the worst in either of the major sports in any major conference.