Tag:Mike Pereira
Posted on: September 12, 2011 4:58 pm
Edited on: September 12, 2011 5:52 pm
 

Please don't penalize the Oregon 'O', Pac-12

Posted by Adam Jacobi

During the past offseason, the Pac-12  hired former NFL vice president of officiating Mike Pereira as its interim coordinator of officiating, and on its face, it seemed like a wise move. Pereira has decades of experience with refereeing, he knows his stuff inside and out, and he's enough of a public figure that Fox Sports has him on during broadcasts to discuss rules interpretations to fans. Sounds good, right? Here's the thing: Pereira is in his 60s now, and he's got some ideas about what's considered sportsmanlike and unsportsmanlike that players 40 years younger might have some qualms about. In particular, Pereira sees Oregon's players making the "O" gesture with their gloves, simulating and celebrating the logo of their very own school, and via Dr. Saturday, here's what he has to say:

That's not a salute to the military. Nor is that a praise to god. I think that borderlines on being unsportsmanlike conduct. And really what you want to do is not do something like this, so that you can actually take the officials out of that. I would say this: I'll go so far as to guarantee you that Chip Kelly and the Oregon Ducks will get a phone call this week and tell them that "You need to stop doing this." ...

Why do I guarantee it? Because I'll be the one to make it.

We'll note that Pereira specifically mentions the military and God because he had mentioned earlier in the clip that these were the two entities to whom gestures would never be penalized. And that's good. But hang on -- military and God are fine, but a salute to the fans and the school itself is out of bounds? What on earth is Pereira trying to prevent here? These guys are playing football for the school and its fans first and foremost, and a celebration like this is never going to cause any negative consequences on the field. If anything, it strengthens the bond between fan and student-athlete, and that's the type of thing that matters when it comes to selling tickets.

Moreover, the act of penalizing celebrations helps nothing. It's not like excessive enforcement of traffic laws, which at least raises money for municipalities in the form of ticket fines. We can't take penalty yards to the bank. Penalties don't sell seats or make fans happy. They don't even move the game along. Thus, they ought to be called only when there's actual cheating or bad acts occurring. Flashing the Oregon 'O' to happy fans? That ain't it, Mr. Pereira. In fact, if he really wants to see a negative reaction to an Oregon Duck throwing up the 'O' after a score, there's one surefire way to do that: have a ref throw a flag about it. 

I'm not allowed to use words strong enough to convey the extent of my revulsion toward Pereira's decision here, but let's just leave it at this: he can take this ban and shove it somewhere very uncomfortable (like the back of a Volkswagen).

[UPDATE: Within 10 minutes of this article posting, Mike Pereira posted the following message on his Twitter page: "Crew..Help me! The "O" the Ducks flash is OK. Talked to others and as long as it is not prolonged or directed at an opponent, it's ok." That's reassuring, but in this video he's making an example out of an instance that is neither prolonged or directed at an opponent, so there are clearly some questions that still need to be answered. We are awaiting further comment.]

Posted on: March 3, 2011 1:11 pm
 

Pac-12 replacing 11 officials

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It doesn't really matter which college football conference you consider yourself a fan of, just about every college football fan has one thing in common: they think the officiating in their conference is terrible. Talk to an SEC fan, he'll tell you the SEC has terrible officials. The same for the Big Ten fan in your life, or the Big 12 fan. Still, if I had to crown one conference as the home of the worst officials in college football,based on all the games I've seen -- and I've seen plenty -- I'd have to name the Pac-10 as the worst in the sport. 

It seems the Pac-10, and commissioner Larry Scott in particular, realized this as well, and it's hoping to ditch this reputation as it becomes the Pac-12. It was announced on Wednesday that the conference was replacing 11 officials with 16 new ones for the first season of Pac-12 play.  Mike Pereira, the former head of officiating in the NFL and current on-air rules analyst for the NFL on Fox, was brought on as the conference's interim coordinator of football officiating, and he talked to the Seattle Times about the decision.

"I certainly did not think that for a geographic area like the West Coast that can draw from a lot of officials, I certainly didn't think it was at the level that it could be," said Pereira. "I'm not saying it was horrible, but it was not at the level that it deserved to be and that this conference deserves to have."

"We felt like these 16 were better than the 11 that did not have their contracts renewed."

This brings the Pac-12's number of officials to 49, which will be broken up into seven teams of seven officials for each game. Pereira also said that the conference will be hiring seven supervisors -- six of which come from the NFL -- to oversee each position on the field (one for the Line Judge, the umpire etc) and another for the replay booth.

They'll all be based out of a command center that will be located in Walnut Creek, California which will monitor every Pac-12 game.
Posted on: February 11, 2011 1:00 pm
 

Pac-12's hands-on Scott leads officiating changes

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

When Larry Scott was named commissioner of the then-Pac-10 in summer 2009, more than one observer wondered how involved in football an East Coast-bred administrator whose only previous sports experience came in women's tennis would really be.

It didn't take long for him to give us an answer, aggressively reshaping the league into the Pac-12 and by many accounts nearly convincing Texas to become the tentpole for a 16-team superconference. Scott has already taken one step to extricate the league from its less-than-optimal television contracts, signing a lucrative deal with Fox for the new conference title game. And now two stories out of the West Coast show that Scott's not slowing down his proactive ways anytime soon.

The first: under the direction of former NFL official (and Fox replay-challenge expert) Mike Pereira, the Pac-12 is overhauling its football officiating programs , starting with the departure of longtime Coordinator of Football Officiating Dave Cutaia and continuing with ... well, we're not sure, but it sounds great:
"Like in other high priority areas, we have taken a fresh look at our program, and will be implementing a series of changes that are forward-looking, innovative and take our program to the next level," Scott said. "The game and level of play is always improving, so it's essential that in the critical area of officiating, the program continue to evolve and improve as well."

The adjustments to the Pac-12 football officiating program came after a season-long review of the entire program by Mike Pereira ... The implementation of the officiating program coincides with the beginning of the new Pac-12 Conference, which features the addition of the University of
Colorado and the University of Utah .
Again, what this "series of changes" entails specifically -- what "adjustments" will be "implemented" when the season begins -- are still a question mark. But given the occasionally laughable errors made by Pac-12 officials the past few years and certain ethically dubious officiating policies , it's clear there's plenty of areas that need the improvement.

But it's the other story that really illustrates how involved with his conference's member schools Scott wants to be. Remember when Washington's athletic director called Oregon's academics "an embarrassment"? Per the Seattle Times, Scott tried to arrange for U-Dub to issue an apology by writing their apology for them :
On the Monday following the Nov. 6 game, Scott sent to UW interim president Phyllis Wise what was referred to as "our suggestion" of a one-paragraph statement UW could release, apologizing for the incident ...

Wise, on Tuesday afternoon following the game, released a letter she had sent to Woodward admonishing him for an "uncharacteristic lack of judgment" and asking that he personally apologize to Oregon President Richard Lariviere . Scott's letter to Wise had not sought a personal Woodward apology.

One sentence in Scott's letter is almost identical to what Wise released, stating that Wise had called Lariviere and "reinforced that these comments do not reflect the views of our administration."

When discussing the most powerful commissioners in college football, the first two names that come to mind are Mike Slive and Jim Delany. But if Scott remains this insistent on managing his league's affairs in this kind of detail as well as leading the charge on issues like TV contracts and expansion, he might find himself in Slive's and Delany's company before too much longer.


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com