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NFL to hire replacement officials

Updated: June 4, 2012, 8:21 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- The NFL will start hiring and training possible replacement officials with a deal not yet completed with the NFL Referees Association.

Talks between the league and the officials broke down after two mediation sessions that followed nine bargaining negotiations since October. Both sides have said they expect a new collective bargaining agreement in time for the upcoming season.

But that optimism has disappeared.

A session was held Sunday under the auspices ...

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