As first hinted by American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco on a special edition of the Bulluminati podcast, the conference officially announced a partnership with the ACC on a football officiating alliance for the upcoming season Monday morning.
Per the release, the alliance will allow both leagues to “work together on a wide range of officiating matters, including scheduling, training, development, recruitment, retention and evaluation.”
The ACC’s Supervisor of Football Officials since 2015, Dennis Hennigan will now manage assignments and be responsible for the hiring and training of game officials. The American Athletic Conference will still name its own Supervisor of Football Officials, who will be responsible for the weekly evaluation of officials and will be the primary contact between the conference and its head football coaches.
Terry McCauly, who has served as The American’s Coordinator of Football Officiating since 2013, is having his position eliminated.
McCauly, and the American Athletic Conference in general has certainly seen its fair share of controversial operation, penalties and game endings since the leagues re-branding in 2013.
In 2016, despite the Cougars having as many as 13 defensive players on the field on a key goal-line play in the final minute, Tulsa suffered a crushing 38-31 loss to Houston when the infraction went unnoticed.
As many Bulls’ fans might recall, a month later Memphis formally requested that the league review several plays in the 49-42 loss to USF, during which Deatrick Nichols appeared to grab the arm of a Tigers receiver in the end zone on a fourth and goal in the last minute. (we were okay with this outcome, however)
The alliance, effective immediately, is not the first time a league will combine its officiating with another conference as retired NFL referee Bill Carollo, currently oversees officiating in the Big Ten, Mid-American and Missouri Valley Conferences.