Mike Slive, Rogers Redding and “the best officiating in the country”

Forget about the gag rule nonsense for a minute, as well as the conspiracy shuffle.  The Birmingham News’ Jon Solomon asks the question that Mike Slive ought to be asking right now – and getting answered:  Is SEC putting officials in best position to make calls?

Check out a few of the facts that Solomon drops in his piece.

  • For all of the justified criticism directed at instant replay official Gerald Hodges for not awarding an interception to LSU’s Patrick Peterson against Alabama, the fact is the play was originally side judge Dean Waite’s call to make… Waite is in his first year in the SEC after working in the Sun Belt last year.
  • Steve Shaw, who has worked six BCS bowl games and is widely considered one of the best referees in the country, has disap­peared from high-profile SEC games. So has linesman Lane Thomas, who is also well re­spected.
  • Most conferences, including the SEC, use retired officials on instant replay. They retired from the field for various reasons – sometimes because they’re no longer what they used to be.
  • The SEC office reported its 2007-08 expenses totaled $153,967,658, including payouts to all 12 schools. Of that amount, $737,904 went to officiating and umpires in all sports, down 21 per­cent from two years earlier.

It’s hard to believe that the conference can’t do better than this.

Then again, when you listen to Mike Slive’s Otter-like defense of the status quo

“In the context of this conversation, it may sound incongruous but we do have as good officiating as there is in the country,” he said. “The difficulty is there’s a tendency to extrapolate from some highly visible calls to denigrate the entire officiating program.”

… maybe it’s not so hard.


Filed under SEC Football

8 responses to “Mike Slive, Rogers Redding and “the best officiating in the country”

  1. heytogoober

    (Y)ou can do whatever you want to us, but we’re not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen!


  2. rbubp

    Yes, Mike. Our extrapolation is the problem! Just go with that, I say. Blaming the fans always works–just ask Mark Richt.


  3. Mayor of Dawgtown

    This really all gets back to Slive. He’s the guy responsible for seeing to it that all parts of the SEC work. It appears that not enough $ are being spent on training of refs and on ref salaries. That goes to the very heart of the problem the conference is having with the competence of football officiating. I’m beginning to think that Slive himself is the problem. He needs to go before he turns the SEC into a C-USA clone. Also, the fact that Steve Shaw, the SEC’s best Referee and head of its best crew, is being banished to second tier games means something. What, we don’t know exactly, but there is something there. Maybe he won’t play along with Slive and Redding on bogus calls. Just a thought.


  4. Ozam

    I have been thinking the same thing about Steve Shaw. It used to be when he was in town you knew it was a big game.

    Mike Slive reminds me of Baghdad Bob. Does he really think he is fooling anyone?


    • Baghdad Bob

      Yes, I do. Here is a tape of some of my earlier work in Columbia. They let me go afterwards but it was because of budgetary cutbacks only, not for the quality of my work…


  5. Toom

    Why does the conference admin sound suddenly like the Big 10? With its desperate self-preservation and absurd excuse making to a clearly dilapidated system, I would hope the SEC school presidents would demand an overhaul. The SEC shouldn’t represent was old and dated but the very best of college football – that should include an NFL type efficiency and professionalism rather than a remnant of the ol boys club, pissed off at the way the culture has changed and determined to do something about it (celebration calls).


  6. Richard

    If there was only some way the conference could make money on this, M. Slive would be all over it. O.K. forget about any national agency for officials and forget the other conferences. The SEC should sign a deal with the NFL to be a minor league for officiating. The guys that get cut from the NFL are ususally younger and in far better shape to deal with the speed of the game. Let them season in the SEC 2-4 years before moving up. The SEC can require these officials to be full time employee and offset the cost by billing the NFL for the training. We know what the problems are, its time to start working on the solutions.