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September 27th, 2012
11:07 AM ET

Retired referee Mason “Red” Cashion on NFL deal with refs: 'NFL has always wanted the best quality'

The NFL labor dispute has officially come to an end. The league and the referees came to an eight-year collective bargaining agreement last night, a settlement which came to head after replacements refs made a major error that ended the game wrongly in the Seahawk’s favor. It riled up fans, politicians, and clearly, the NFL, as well. Retired referee Mason “Red” Cashion joins “Early Start” this morning live from Houston, Texas with his take on the debacle and the subsequent settlement.

Cashion is a veteran league official of over 40 years. He’s worked two supervown and currently trains and works with the NFL’s regular referees. Cashion was asked to help train the replacement officials, but refused.  He weighs in on the particulars of the new agreement that could be seen as a threat to the job security of the regular refs, such as the clauses allowing the NFL to hire additional officials who could be used to work the games and hire full-time officials in 2013.

“I think that the NFL has always wanted the best quality in everything they do,” he says, “and I believe that what they were really after is something to continue the good program of developing officials.”

Sambolin asks Cashion why he refused to help the train the replacement officials. Cashion explains that a total of nine trainers usually work very closely with the regular officials. “It was our belief that if we worked with the temporary officials that we would not have the same reception when we continued to work with the regular officials,” he answers. “For the benefit of the league, it was best that we not work with the temporary officials,” in the long haul.”

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