Like I posted the other day, it’s good that the SEC is concerned about making sure the product isn’t perceived as having a fixed outcome. Transparency isn’t a bad thing, generally speaking. But this Steve Shaw quote, from Seth Emerson’s piece about football officiating ($$), does give me some pause about how far the conference should take things.
Fans may want blood when it comes to blown calls. But Shaw still wants to keep that quiet, not broadcasting it when an official is fired, demoted or suspended. That’s where the idea of transparency may have its limits.
That’s the worry in all this: Good officials will be afraid to stay in their jobs if their personal information is being blasted out on social media, their name dragged through the mud. That’s a legitimate worry. The answer to that isn’t to simply get the calls right. They can still get calls right and have irrational fans get angry at them.
In fact, the social media reaction is causing a problem recruiting younger officials, according to Shaw, which isn’t affecting the quality of officiating right now, but could eventually.
“They say, I don’t want any part of that,” Shaw said. “That’s something we’ve got to overcome.”
Honestly, I can’t say I blame them, considering the shit shows that routinely crop up in social media. People get hot about political issues, but from a passion standpoint, blown football calls run pretty close. Shaw’s got a tricky set of priorities to balance there.