It's On: Talks Break Down with NFL and Refs, League to Hire Replacements

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Jan 22, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; NFL referee Ed Hochuli (85) during the second quarter of the 2011 NFC Championship game between the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Giants at Candlestick Park. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

Well, it’s not the lockout of 2011, but it still could be a problem.

If you haven’t heard yet, talks broke off between the NFL and its referees, and the league is going ahead with hiring and training replacement refs.

“Our goal is to maintain the highest quality of officiating for our teams, players, and fans, including proper enforcement of the playing rules and efficient management of our games,” the league said in a statement.

A mediated negotiation took place over the weekend, to no avail, so the league plans to go ahead with its program for replacements later in the month.

The referees association fired off against the league today, saying that they were talking to replacement refs before the negotation ended, and took a mere five minutes to review the refs final offer before turning it down and terminating the session.

“It is now clear the league never intended to work toward a fair agreement, even through mediation,” the statement reads. It also includes a promise that “our organization’s professional referees will continue preparing for the 2012 NFL season to the best of their abilities, despite the NFL’s refusal to provide them with vital training and educational materials.”

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