The NFL today terminated negotiations with the NFL Referees Association and has begun the process of recruiting and training new referees for the 2012 season. After failing to come to a new collective bargaining agreement - sound familiar? - in a meeting on Sunday the NFL shall begin training new referees towards the end of this month, hopefully in time for the NFL pre-season. The NFL and Referees Association had been negotiating a new agreement since October 2011. The NFL Referees Association in a recent statement claimed that "It is now clear the league never intended to work toward a fair agreement, even through mediation." It is unclear what their next move shall be. Unsurprisingly the NFLPA has come to the Referees Association's defence, issuing a statement of their own viewable on Facebook, saying, "The NFL Players Association is concerned about the NFL’s decision to lock out professional referees and recruit scabs to serve as referees in NFL games for the 2012 season. In 2011, the NFL tasked officials with increased responsibilities in protecting player health and safety, and its search for scabs undermines that important function. Professional athletes require professional referees, and we believe in the NFL Referees Association’s trained first responders. The NFLPA will continue to monitor the league’s actions in this situation." This really is the offseason that keeps on giving.