BY Todd Dybas 03:02PM 02/11/2011

Pac-10 will overhaul football officiating

The departure of Dave Cutaia as Coordinator of Football Officiating prompts the conference to use opportunity to re-assess officiating structure.

The Pac-10 will look at new "enhancements" to its officiating structure. / Wikimedia Commons

They’re calling it a “restructuring” of football officiating in the Pac-10. Fans are calling it reason to party.

The Pac-10, soon-to-be Pac-12, Conference will review how it trains and develops officials.

Fox Sports talking head and former NFL Vice President of Officiating Mike Pereira will head up the reworking of the officials. Seahawks fans will fondly recall his explanations of the officiating in Super Bowl XL.

The news from the conference:

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. — After a comprehensive review of the officiating program and a request by Dave Cutaia to step down as the Coordinator of Football Officiating, the Pac-10 Conference will restructure its football officiating program it was announced today. Enhancements to the officiating program will include a new organizational structure, new resources, best practices and training tools.

“Dave Cutaia has been an integral part of the Pac-10 Conference for 27 years as an official and as our Coordinator of Football Officiating,” Commissioner Larry Scott said. “His professionalism and dedication are first class and we thank him for all of his efforts and devotion to the Pac-10.”

“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 former Vice President of Officiating for the NFL, who served as a consultant for the Pac-10 during the 2010 season. Pereira will lead the process of creating the new structure and implementing the changes, and will serve as the interim Coordinator of Football Officiating. The Pac-12 will begin an immediate search for a permanent Coordinator of Officiating.

“We are thrilled that Mike Pereira will be leading the restructuring of our football officiating program and will serve as the interim Coordinator,” Scott said.  “He is among the most respected leaders in his field at the professional and collegiate level, and has extensive football officiating and program management experience.”

“I am excited for this opportunity to come back to my college roots and share my passion for West Coast college football,” said Pereira. “This is a unique time for the Pac-10 as it prepares for the inaugural Pac-12 season.  I am appreciative to have the opportunity to bring an innovative and fresh perspective to Pac-12 officiating.”

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. The 2011 Pac-12 football season will begin September 3 when Oregon meets LSU at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.

What all these generalizations mean, and if they work, will take years to sort out. Fans can at least enjoy the knowledge the process is being looked at. Though it’s being looked at by a member of the old guard, which is not a significant shift from the former head of officials.