LOS ANGELES – The Pac-12 Conference announced today the findings and recommendations of an independent review of its football officiating program conducted by Sibson Consulting, a world-class consultancy specializing in officiating program assessments. A summary of Sibson’s final report and recommendations is available at Pac-12.com.
The comprehensive four-month review included benchmarking against the NFL and other NCAA conferences, interviews with stakeholders such as current and former officials, coaches and athletic directors, and analysis of officiating data. The review was led by Sibson and overseen by a sub-committee of Pac-12 athletic directors chaired by Arizona State’s Ray Anderson and also included University of Oregon’s Rob Mullens, Oregon State’s Scott Barnes and University of Colorado Boulder’s Rick George.
The review concluded that the Pac-12’s football officiating program is fundamentally sound and predominantly consistent with industry best practice, including with regard to the quality of officials and use of state-of-the-art technology. At the same time, the review offered a series of recommendations to strengthen the program, including in the areas of grading and evaluation, training, hiring and recruiting, replay, targeting and reporting structure.
The report has been reviewed by the Pac-12 CEO Group, Athletic Directors and football coaches, and all recommendations will be implemented.
Key recommendations to be implemented for this coming season include:
• The head of officiating to report directly to the Commissioner rather than the football administrator;
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• Adoption of a new replay manual codifying processes and procedures that will eliminate the potential for an incident like the one in last year’s Washington State v. USC game reoccurring;
• Enhancements to training programs for officials, and more consistency in grading and training from the officiating supervisors; and
• A new communications protocol with more transparency and public comment around significant calls or errors that either impact player safety or the result of the game.
“The independent review was comprehensive in scope, and identified many positive foundational aspects of our program and as well as areas where we can improve,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. “We are committed to ensuring that our football officiating program continues to improve and is best-in-class, and our implementation of these recommendations will allow us to do so.”
“On behalf of the athletic directors, we look forward to implementation of the Sibson review recommendations to continue to evolve and strengthen our football officiating program,” said Arizona State University Athletic Director Ray Anderson. “We are fully aligned with the Sibson recommendations and Pac-12 leadership in taking our program to the next level of performance.