Pac-12 football officiating, an object of complaint by a series of University of Hawaii coaches over the years, is undergoing a major overhaul and will potentially impact UH in several ways.
More than a quarter of the officials who worked Pac-12 games last year will not be retained as part of a "restructuring" announced by the conference. Overall, 16 new officials will be hired to fill out an expanded 49-member officiating staff, a new coordinator of officials has been hired and a new training and evaluation program will be put in place, the Pac-12 said.
UH is scheduled to play two Pac-12 teams in 2011, Colorado and Washington. A Western Athletic Conference-assigned crew is contracted to work the Sept. 3 season opener at Aloha Stadium, while a Pac-12 crew will work the Sept. 10 game in Seattle.
UH coaches have several times complained about the quality of Pac-10 crews, most notably in 2003 when Pac-10 supervisor off officials Verle Sorgen later confirmed officials erred on two key first-half plays in a 61-32 loss at USC.
A UH spokesman declined comment Friday about the Pac-12 changes.
The Pac-12 will add three officials from the WAC and 13 from the College Football Officiating West, which includes the Mountain West and Big 12 Conferences. In 2012 UH joins the Mountain West, which is in its fifth year of the CFO.
No Hawaii-based officials will leave the WAC for the Pac-12, WAC officials said.
An MWC spokesman said "the CFO West is currently the only conference officiating program to pay officials on the basis of merit and performance, with officials meeting minimum accountability standards each year."
"Bottom line," the MWC said, "is that football officiating in CFO West, and thus the MWC, will not miss a beat and will continue to achieve the high standards that have been well-established."
WAC officials receive "$925-$975" per game, while the Pac-12 pays approximately $1,400. The MWC did not disclose what it pays officials, but it is believed to be in the ballpark of $1,000.