Tony Corrente resigns as Pac-12 head of officiating

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The Pac-12's uphill battle to fix its officiating problem just got a bit tougher.

Citing personal and professional reasons, current NFL head referee Tony Corrente resigned from his post as the Pac-12's Coordinator of Football Officiating.

"Under Tony's leadership, our program made great strides in improving the quality, accountability and consistency," Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement on the matter. "While it's unfortunate that Tony has decided to leave us at this time, I want to express my appreciation for his contribution, and for leaving our officiating program strong and headed in the right direction."

According to San Jose Mercury News writer Jon Wilner, news of Corrente's resignation caught Pac-12 officials off guard, as they had been hoping to extend his contract.

Corrente will maintain his NFL officiating duties -- a position he has held since 1995 -- and will work this Sunday. He took over the Pac-12 job from Mike Pereira in 2011.

Scott appointed Jim Blackwood as interim coordinator until a permanent replacement can be hired after the football season. Blackwood was serving as the Instant Replay Supervisor under Corrente and he has previously filled the role of football officiating coordinator in the WAC and Southland Conferences prior to coming to the Pac-12.

Blackwood also spent nearly a decade as an NFL instant replay official.

The shakeup out West comes after several key, missed calls in late-game situations the past two weeks that drew plenty of ire from fans. The conference has never had a great reputation when it comes to its officiating and, while strides were made under Corrente, whoever takes the job after the season has a difficult task ahead of them.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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