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Friday, September 18, 2009
 
NBA Locks Out Referees

Following up on a post from last week, the NBA formally declared today that it would lock out its referees, after renewed talks collapsed on Thursday. According to the New York Times, there are three major sticking points preventing the parties from reaching an agreement. First, the NBA wants to reduce and/or eliminate the severance payments it has traditionally made to referees who retire at age 55 or older. Second, the NBA is seeking to use WNBA and NBA Development League referees in a limited number of NBA regular season games, for training purposes. The Referees' Association had reportedly previously agreed to allow up to 75 such assignments, only to later reject the proposal. Finally, the league wants to switch the referees from a defined-benefit pension plan to a 401(k) system used by other NBA employees.

Unless the two sides are able to resolve these differences shortly, the NBA will use replacement referees when preseason games begin on October 1st.





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