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NFL embellishing credentials of replacement refs, says former league officiating executive

The league isn't being honest about the credentials of its replacement refs, said Mike Pereira. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Super Bowl XLV

Mike Pereira, who spent eight years as the NFL's vice president of officiating over the last decade, said on Tuesday that the league "wants as little out as possible" about the lack of credentials held by the replacement refs who are scheduled to officiate this season if the league and its referees association don't come to terms on a new contract, according to

Pereira specifically singled out replacement ref Craig Ochoa, saying he is just another example of someone who isn't qualified to officiate a professional league game.

"He didn’t work in the Big Ten. He’s not been a major college official. I don’t think the NFL is going to say that he actually got released midway through the last lingerie football league season as a referee. I don’t think the league is going to put that out. The league wants as little out as possible. They don’t want people talking about it."

Pereira said that the speed of the game and the complexity of its enforcement rules will be two big changes for the replacement refs if commissioner Roger Goodell moves forward with the league's plan to use them next season. Periera thinks that the game's integrity will be compromised if the best football talent doesn't have the best officiating:

"There’s no question to me that the integrity of the game will be compromised."