Monday night replacement referee ID’d as high school official

Sep 26, 2012, 10:55 AM | Updated: 12:14 pm

After the Monday Night Football debacle that ended with one of the most criticized calls in history, many people are wondering who the referee is that called the controversial touchdown that gave the Seahawks the win, and what qualifications (if any) he has.

He’s Lance Easley, a small town Bank of America executive from Central California who referees high school and junior college football and basketball games.

Easley’s Linked In profile says he’s worked at the bank since June 2011, and was a business banking specialist at Wells Fargo for nearly three years prior to that.

His LinkedIn profile lists him as the president of the Los Padres Officials Association, which is high school sports. He is a well-known ref in the Santa Barbara area, where he officiates high school and junior college football and basketball games, according to a column in The Santa Maria Times.

Easley attended the Stars and Stripes Academy for Football Officials, a three-day training academy for aspiring college officials, earlier this year, according to a statement posted on the academy’s website Tuesday morning.

The academy said in a statement Easley should never have been on a pro field because it did not provide any training in NFL rules, and was not aware that Easley planned to become a replacement official.

“Although Mr. Easley received three days of college football training at the 2012 SASA, the Academy does not claim responsibility for Mr. Easley’s successes or perceived failures as an official,” the statement said.

Easley apparently wants to share his side of the story, but the NY Daily News reports he’s been silenced by the NFL.

“We’re not allowed to talk to the media. You’ll have to call the NFL,” Easley told the Daily News by phone from his Santa Maria, Calif., home. “That’s the NFL’s policy whether I agree with it or not.”

Even if he can’t talk, there are plenty of people who have something to say to him.

Columnist Joe Bailey, writing in the Santa Maria Times, has one of the kinder criticisms:

“Easley threw himself into the fire. He, as a replacement ref, or as his brethren would call him a “scab,” knew what he was getting into.

He knew he couldn’t handle the NFL. The officials in the NFL were the best of the best…But Easley and the rest of the replacements can’t handle the speed of the NFL.”

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Monday night replacement referee ID’d as high school official