The Southeastern Conference wants to get the call right, so much so that it has hired international accounting firm Deloitte to conduct a review of its football officiating.
The move comes after SEC commissioner Greg Sankey noted the media and public’s perception of SEC officiating. Sankey said the conference began talking about ways to better evaluate officiating back in September.
“I believed then and I still believe we have as good a college football officiating program as there is yet we can still keep improving,” Sankey told The Associated Press. “And we started first looking at how do we communicate about officiating? And it was forward looking to this coming season that the nature of media, the focus on officiating, the fact there are commentators and broadcast booths giving opinions, sometimes they’re right, sometimes they’re not correct. You don’t have complete information. Those are game changers for us.”
The Pac-12 recently underwent a similar evaluation and is currently awaiting the results.
Sankey hopes the evaluation will promote transparency and bring an end to any unjust criticism of the SEC’s officiating crews.
The results of the review will not be released publicly but are being shared with coaches, administrators and university presidents at this week’s SEC spring meetings in Destin, Florida.
The SEC is considering a website that would provide more information about officiating, from training to game day routines to rules.
“There are times where we’ve had to engage. And the world has changed around us. We have to adapt our communication strategies to that reality,” Sankey told the AP. “And that’s why this conversation began, now, nine or 10 months ago as we tried to determine the best way to adapt and to change and to share information.
“We want to communicate that we do have people with great integrity who are working as officials both in our program and as people who support our officiating program.”