Things just continue to get worse and worse for the NFL as fallout continues from the replacement referee debacle in Seattle Monday night. We’ve already outlined the financial implications of the blown call, but it turns out that fans losing their hard earned money is the least of the NFL’s problems.
The NFL’s biggest problem is that reporters are now digging into these replacement referees background in attempt to find something that further embarrasses the league. And that’s exactly what USA Today did when they inquired about the side judge from Monday night.
Lance Easley was that side judge and is the man signaling touchdown in the photo above. And according to Karl Richins and his staff of Division I college officials at Stars and Stripes Academy for Football Officials in Salt Lake City, which Easley attended over the summer, Easley should’ve never been able to signal that touchdown. In fact, Richins says that Easley wasn’t even ready to referee Div. I games.
“I got to know Lance at a June academy I worked at in Reno and when he came to my academy in July,” Richins said. “He’s a very polite, good Christian gentleman, a good father to his son, Daniel, who was at my academy as well.
“But was Lance ready to work at the NFL level? Absolutely not.”
Richins’ staff determined that Easley, vice president of small business banking at Bank of America in Santa Maria, Calif., wasn’t ready for Division I, the highest level of college officiating, never mind the much faster NFL game.
Richins said the biggest mistake Easley made was agreeing to become a replacement official in the first place. He said Easley has never officiated at a level higher than Division III and never voiced a desire to reach the NFL.
“I’m getting e-mails saying, ‘Boy, you must be proud,'” Richins told USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday. “This is not what we intended for our officiating students to do. We train officials to work at the Division I level.
“At no time do we say, ‘We can train you for the NFL.’ After three days at our academy, Lance was determined by our staff not to be ready for Division I officiating.”
What the h#ll is Roger Goodell doing?