Wide receiver Golden Tate (81) of the Seattle Seahawks makes a catch in the end zone to defeat the Green Bay Packers on a controversial call by the officials at CenturyLink Field on September 24, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. (GETTY)
Lance Easley, the replacement official who ruled that the final play Monday night in the Seattle-Green Bay game was be a touchdown, was "absolutely not" ready in the summer to work an NFL-level game.
That's according to the man who rejected Easley in July as a prospective game official for the top division of U.S. college football.
In a story published Wednesday, USA Today interviewed Karl Richins, who runs the Stars and Stripes Academy for Football Officials in Salt Lake City, Utah.
"I got to know Lance at a June academy I worked at in Reno, and when he came to my academy in July," Richins said. "He's a very polite, good Christian gentleman, a good father to his son, Daniel, who was at my academy as well.
"But was Lance ready to work at the NFL level? Absolutely not."
Richins' camp staff determined that Easley, who lives in Santa Maria, Calif., was not capable of working any of the hundreds of annual games played at the NCAA's Division I level.
Easley awarded a Hail Mary touchdown catch to Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate, which allowed the Seahawks to defeat the visiting Green Bay Packers, 14-12.
Most impartial viewers who have seen the play concluded that Green Bay defensive back M.D. Jennings should have been awarded an interception instead.
Easley called it a joint possession, which by rules goes to the offensive player.