The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) Wednesday announced a new agreement with the National Football League (NFL) to provide training and professional development for conference referees.
Under the agreement’s terms, conference officials will receive access to technical assistance in connection with conference officiating clinics and feedback with regard to current officiating best practices from NFL officials. In exchange, the NFL will have access to all SIAC game video and evaluations of all SIAC officials, and officials from the NFL’s Intermediate Development Program will have opportunities to officiate conference games.
“Under the direction of Harold Mitchell, the SIAC’s football officiating program has consistently demonstrated the ability to motivate and train officials to allow them to reach the highest levels of officiating,” said NFL Senior Director of Officiating Alberto Riveron.
“Officiating expertise is enhanced by video study, on field training and classroom rules study. The partnership with the NFL will give the SIAC Football Officiating program a tremendous boost, both now and in the future,” Mitchell said.
Two years ago, the SIAC was the first NCAA conference to have women referees in college football games. Last year, the conference led NCAA Division II in football attendance, thanks to the fans and supporters of its 15 HBCU-membership institutions: Albany State University, Benedict College, Central State University, Claflin University, Clark Atlanta University, Fort Valley State University, Kentucky State University, Lane College, LeMoyne-Owen College, Miles College, Morehouse College, Paine College, Spring Hill College, Stillman College and Tuskegee University.
“This agreement represents a natural extension of our league’s demonstrated commitment to increasing the number of professional opportunities in intercollegiate athletics to individuals who otherwise would not have them. We are extremely proud to be working with the NFL to advance such an important initiative,” SIAC Commissioner Greg Moore said.