Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Community News Network

July 9, 2013

Women referees set to break NFL's glass ceiling

(Continued)

NEW YORK —

About 47 percent of the 108.4 million people who watched the 2013 Super Bowl were female, according to Nielsen data.

Thomas, who officiates college football in Irving, Texas- based Conference USA, worked an Indianapolis Colts minicamp last month. She'll call NFL preseason games in August.

"It's pretty quick," Thomas said in a telephone interview. "In those scrimmage games you sit back and think it's really not, but when you start digging into every responsibility at that position, you really do realize it's a lot faster."

She's already proven herself in the NCAA's top level, the Football Bowl Subdivision, said Gerald Austin, a former NFL referee who worked in three Super Bowls and is now coordinator of officials for Conference USA.

"Her judgment on calls has graded out very high," Austin said in a telephone interview. "Let the coaches coach the game, let the players play the game, but when there's a call that needs to be made then have the wherewithal and courage to step up and make the call. She's shown adeptness at knowing when you should pull the trigger."

The National Basketball Association has used female referees since 1997, when Violet Palmer and Dee Kantner were hired. Major League Baseball has never had a woman umpire.

Thomas, who has two boys, nine and 12, and a six-month-old girl, also works full-time in pharmaceutical sales for Bagsvaerd, Denmark-based Novo Nordisk.

She squeezes in time throughout the week to watch game film and talk to colleagues about situations and rules. Most NFL game officials are part-time, and they will make an average of $173,000 this season under their collective bargaining agreement.

"You just do it," she said, while expressing appreciation for help from her husband, Brian. "I have to tend to the kids, I have to do my job, and I have to get ready for football season. It's just what I have to do."

Text Only
Community News Network
Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014