The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Pro Sports

June 14, 2013

Female official closing in on NFL history

Thomas not seeking to 'shatter glass ceiling'

INDIANAPOLIS — Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of Sarah Thomas' three-day stay in Indianapolis this week was how unremarkable it was in the end.

Thomas, entering her eighth-year as a line judge in Conference USA, is a part of the NFL's developmental program for game officials. She worked the Colts' mini-camp from Tuesday through Thursday, and she could become the league's first regular female official as early as next season.

But Thomas doesn't view herself as a pioneer.

"I've never been one to want to set out and shatter a glass ceiling or anything like that," she said in a classic southern drawl during a recent conference call at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. "It's just at the end of the day I'm there to officiate, and (for) the longevity of it all and (to) have a career of it. I've always said, NFL, if they're knocking on the door, I'm not gonna turn them down, believe me.

"I'm honored to be a part of this developmental program, and I'm glad that they've implemented this program for us officials. And I take it one day at a time and one snap a time."

That philosophy served her well in Indy, where her presence went largely undetected — even during the Colts' open practice in front of some 10,000 fans Wednesday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The biggest complaint might have come from outside linebacker Robert Mathis, who took issue with an offsides penalty Thomas assessed against him. But even that can be viewed as a victory.

Player disagreements are a sure sign Thomas is being treated the same as any of her male peers.

"We had one here for the last three days, and she was outstanding from my vantage point," Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said of the possibility of a female official joining the NFL. "As far as I'm concerned, I got no issues with it."

Text Only
Pro Sports
  • PACERS LEGEND 1.jpg Leonard still believes in the Pacers

    For the past 36 hours, the NBA universe has been buzzing about the decision made by Indiana Pacers' coach Frank Vogel to rest all of his starting five Wednesday in Milwaukee.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tiger Woods has back surgery, will miss the Masters

    Tiger Woods chose surgery to heal his ailing back over a quest for another green jacket, announcing Tuesday that he will miss the Masters for the first time in his career.

    April 1, 2014

  • SPT - HB0325 - Adam Lind swing Momentum swinging in Lind's favor Adam Lind is hitting .386 with one home run and seven RBIs through 15 Grapefruit League games this spring.

    March 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0322 - Grigson art Grigson happy with offseason additions Though he stopped just short of declaring his shopping spree over, Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson made it clear Friday he's happy with the team's offseason haul.

    March 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0318 - Bremer mug George Bremer: Irsay's plight not about football Jim Irsay has a problem.

    March 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • George Bremer-2.JPG George Bremer: Irsay's plight not about football

    Jim Irsay has a problem.

    March 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_irsaymugshot.jpg Colts owner Jim Irsay arrested

    Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was arrested Sunday night in the northern Indianapolis suburb of Carmel on preliminary charges of driving while intoxicated and possession of a controlled substance, Hamilton County Sheriff's Department Deputy Bryant Orem said.

    March 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0316 - Nicks photo Nicks betting deal with Colts will pay off Hakeem Nicks is betting on himself. The 25-year-old wide receiver with a Super Bowl ring and a long injury history from five years with the New York Giants chose a fresh start in Indianapolis because he believes the pieces are in place for the franchise to make a long postseason run.

    March 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0315 - Nicks art Colts add WR Nicks on one-year deal The Indianapolis Colts wide receiver corps was severely depleted in the second half of the 2013 season. On Friday, the franchise bought an insurance policy for this fall.

    March 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0314 - Jones art Colts DL Jones comes from fighting family If nothing else, Arthur Jones is up for a fight. Most older brothers are confident they can best their younger siblings. But it jumps to another level when the younger brother is UFC light heavyweight champion Jon "Bones" Jones.

    March 13, 2014 1 Photo

Photographer’s pick
AP Video
Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement Raw: UConn Celebrates for Second Straight Night UConn Women Win NCAA Basketball Championship Raw: Workers at Brazil Olympic Park on Strike Some Arrests As Fans Celebrate UConn Win UConn Wins NCAA Men's Basketball Championship UConn Wins NCAA Men's Basketball Champsionship Connecticut, Kentucky Fans React to NCAA Win Connecticut, Kentucky Meet for the Title AP Player of Year: Creighton's Doug McDermott Fearsome Final Foursome Head to North Texas College Athletes Take Labor Cause to Washington Northwestern Practices After Union Ruling Woods Has Back Surgery, Will Miss the Masters Raw: Obama, 'Big Papi' of Red Sox Take Selfie Raw: LA Angels Don Baylor Suffers Leg Injury Seahawks, Sounders Visit Town Near Mudslide Milwaukee Brewers' Adopted Mascot Is Big Hit Tigers' Cabrera Gets Record $292M, 10-year Deal
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin