NFL refs approve deal, ready for Sunday games - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

NFL refs approve deal, ready for Sunday games

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IRVING, Texas (AP) - NFL officials ended their labor dispute with the league by approving a new eight-year contract with a 112-5 vote Saturday, then hustled off to the airport to get to work.

Next stop, stadiums around the country.

And, the officials hope, anonymity.

"The last Super Bowl that I worked, when we got in the locker room, I said, 'You know, the best thing about this game, nobody will remember who refereed this game,'" said Scott Green, president of the referees' association. "That's how we like to work."

The vote ended a labor spat that created three weeks of increasingly chaotic games run by replacement officials who drew criticism of everyone from the average fan to President Barack Obama.

"It was pretty much 'Come on in and vote,'" Green said. "We're going to talk football now. We're going to stop talking about CBAs and lockouts and now we're going to talk about rules and video and getting ourselves ready to work football games."

They may get ovations similar to the one bestowed on the crew that worked Thursday's Cleveland-Baltimore game with the tentative deal in place.

The referees met for about an hour and a half Friday night to go over the contract, then gathered for another 30 minutes Saturday morning before approving the contract.

"We are obviously pleased to hear it," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in an email to The Associated Press on Saturday.

Because they were aware of the financial parameters, most of the discussion by the referees involved non-economic issues such as year-round work and developmental squads, said Tim Millis, the association's executive director.

The deal came together quickly this week after an increasing chorus of complaints became impossible to ignore when a disputed touchdown call on the final play gave the Seattle Seahawks a victory over the Green Bay Packers on national television Monday night.

Many thought the ruling of a Seattle touchdown instead of a Green Bay interception was botched, and the labor dispute drew public comments from Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

By late Wednesday, the sides had a contract calling for refs' salaries to increase from an average of $149,000 a year in 2011 to $173,000 in 2013, rising to $205,000 by 2019. The current defined benefit pension plan will remain in place for current officials through the 2016 season or until the official earns 20 years' service.

The defined benefit plan will then be frozen. Retirement benefits will be provided for new hires, and for all officials beginning in 2017, through a defined contribution.

Beginning with the 2013 season, the NFL will have the option to hire a number of officials to work year-round. The NFL also can retain additional officials for training and development and assign those officials to work games. The number of additional officials will be determined by the league.

The officials that worked Thursday's Ravens-Browns game were cheered from the moment they walked onto the field. The difference between the regular crew and replacements was clear. The officials kept the game in control, curtailing the chippy play and choppy pace that had marred the first three weeks of the regular season.

"I think the thing we're most proud of is the lesson that we all learned," Green said. "If you're going to be in a professional league, you've got top-notch coaches, you need professional officials as well."

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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    YSU baseball beats Oakland 5-0

    YSU baseball beats Oakland 5-0

    NILES, Ohio -- Nic Manuppelli and two relievers combined for a five-hit shutout, and Nick DiNello came off the bench to drive in three runs as the Youngstown State baseball team beat Oakland 5-0 on Saturday afternoon at Eastwood Field.Manuppelli surrendered just four hits and two walks while striking out four batters in six innings to earn his first victory. Alex Frey retired two batters in the seventh, and Kevin Yarabinec came in to pitch the final 2.1 innings and record his second save.The ...More >>
    NILES, Ohio -- Nic Manuppelli and two relievers combined for a five-hit shutout, and Nick DiNello came off the bench to drive in three runs as the Youngstown State baseball team beat Oakland 5-0 on Saturday afternoon at Eastwood Field.Manuppelli surrendered just four hits and two walks while striking out four batters in six innings to earn his first victory. Alex Frey retired two batters in the seventh, and Kevin Yarabinec came in to pitch the final 2.1 innings and record his second save.The ...More >>
  • YSU Press Release

    YSU softball beats Wright State 3-2 on Senior Day

    YSU softball beats Wright State 3-2 on Senior Day

    YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- Senior Samantha Snodgrass' bases-loaded fielder's choice in the bottom of the eighth inning scored sophomore Miranda Castiglione and lifted the Youngstown State softball team to a 3-2 Senior Day come-from-behind win over Wright State on Saturday afternoon at the YSU Softball Field.The Penguins improve to 22-19 overall and 7-6 in the Horizon League while the Raiders fall to 13-27 and 8-6 in the league. Heach Coach Brian Campbell also picked up career win No. 399.Castiglione...More >>
    YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- Senior Samantha Snodgrass' bases-loaded fielder's choice in the bottom of the eighth inning scored sophomore Miranda Castiglione and lifted the Youngstown State softball team to a 3-2 Senior Day come-from-behind win over Wright State on Saturday afternoon at the YSU Softball Field.The Penguins improve to 22-19 overall and 7-6 in the Horizon League while the Raiders fall to 13-27 and 8-6 in the league. Heach Coach Brian Campbell also picked up career win No. 399.Castiglione...More >>
  • Instant replay coming to the Missouri Valley Football Conference

    Instant replay coming to the Missouri Valley Football Conference

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    GM boosting China production capacity to 5 million

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  • Ohio couple married 70 years die 15 hours apart

    Ohio couple married 70 years die 15 hours apart

    Sunday, April 20 2014 9:03 AM EDT2014-04-20 13:03:14 GMT
    NASHPORT, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio couple who held hands at breakfast every morning even after 70 years of marriage have died 15 hours apart.Helen Felumlee (FEHL'-uhm-lee) of Nashport in central Ohio died April 12. She was 92. Her husband, 91-year-old Kenneth Felumlee, died April 13.The couple's children say the two met as teenagers and had been inseparable since then.The Zanesville Times Recorder reports (http://ohne.ws/1in7erG) that the pair married Feb. 20, 1944, and raised eight children.Their...More >>
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  • Easter Bunny train sparks New Jersey brush fires

    Easter Bunny train sparks New Jersey brush fires

    Sunday, April 20 2014 8:31 AM EDT2014-04-20 12:31:46 GMT
    POHATCONG TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - A train carrying the Easter Bunny in northwestern New Jersey has ignited several small brush fires.The Express-Times newspaper in Easton, Pennsylvania, reports the fires occurred Saturday in Pohatcong Township and Phillipsburg. No major property damage is reported. A firefighter from the New Jersey state forest fire service fell and dislocated his hip.Huntington Volunteer Fire Company Chief Peter Pursell tells the newspaper the diesel en...More >>
    POHATCONG TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - A train carrying the Easter Bunny in northwestern New Jersey has ignited several small brush fires.The Express-Times newspaper in Easton, Pennsylvania, reports the fires occurred Saturday in Pohatcong Township and Phillipsburg. No major property damage is reported. A firefighter from the New Jersey state forest fire service fell and dislocated his hip.Huntington Volunteer Fire Company Chief Peter Pursell tells the newspaper the diesel en...More >>
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