Football history - four females officiate a Miles College game - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Football history - four females officiate a Miles College game

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Four woman made college football history when they worked on the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference officiating crew for Miles College's home football game against Lane College, Thursday, October 24, 2013. (abc3340.com) Four woman made college football history when they worked on the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference officiating crew for Miles College's home football game against Lane College, Thursday, October 24, 2013. (abc3340.com)
FAIRFIELD - AL -

The Miles College football game Thursday night is one for the history books. For the first time in college football, a predominately female group of officials called the game.  

It's been a mixed season for Miles College Football. The team  has won 3  games and lost 3. Thursday night, they're facing Lane College, but this isn't a report about what's happening *on* the field... the real story is on the sidelines.

Four women are making football history. 

"This is the first time four female officials have ever worked a collegiate football game," Harold Mitchell, Coordinator of Football Officials, SWAC and SIAC said.

"It's unbelievable. It goes down in history," Reginald Ruffin, Miles College Head Coach said. "Miles College has made history in this football game versus Lane College tonight."

"I was one of the first female officials," Sebrina Brunson said. "This is my first time being able to officiate with other women. I had a great time even in a new position as a field judge."

But what the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Commissioner says is more important than the fact that these are women... is that they're really really good. 

"Basketball has quite a few female officials, football doesn't have as many, but we are starting to get them and we are finding out that they are just as competent and just as resourceful as the men officials," Mitchell said.

All four have risen through the NFL Officiating Development program and rank outstanding. 

"We have to not be a distraction," Brunson said. "I had to cut my hair to keep it, out of the way. It's hard. You have to fit in on the field so you're not picked out in the stands or you know, looked at as a female. You have to fit in and look the part."

"It's great to be a part of history with women who are trying to move up with Sebrina who started a long time ago doing this and working with her and letting her know it's paying off," Yvonda Lewis, an official said.

So while the teams fight for a win, fans say, the real victory is already won.

"I think it's way overdue," Louis C. Rodgers, Miles Alum said.  "Women can do anything else." 

"I think it's time for them," Katie Rodgers, Miles Alumna said. "We have lady basketball referees, so I think it's time for football to do the same."

There's been quite a bit of pressure on these ladies. Recruiters for the NFL football officials were evaluating their performance. The program is looking to add more women on the field officiating games.

 

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