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Cat Conti to become first female official to work a Big 12 game

Kansas JayhawksMissouri Tigers
Cat Conti will be first woman to officiate a Big 12 game
Cat Conti to become first female official to work a Big 12 game
Conti will be full-time official in the Mountain West and hopes to one day become an NFL official

Cat Conti is set to become the first woman to officiate a Big 12 game when she works the game between Kansas and Southeast Missouri on Sept. 6.

"She is not there because she is a female," Bob Bowlsby, the league's commissioner, said Monday. "She is there because she's paid her dues and because she is a really outstanding football official. … This is a good opportunity for her and a good opportunity for us, and I don't think you'll really notice much about how the officiating is done on the game. But it's significant that she's doing it."

Conti will be a full-time official in the Mountain West this season, and hopes to one day become an NFL official. 

"That's the ultimate dream," Conti told USA Today Sports. "But if this Big 12 game is the highest I ever get, it's certainly been a great career."

Kansas Coach Charlie Weis said that he's excited to be a part of this milestone -- but added that he will have to make one major adjustment on the field. 

"I'll try to watch my language," Weis said. "I believe in the old-fashioned way, so I'll try not to use as many bad words. But it means nothing to me. It's great that a woman is put in a position where they can be put on equal footing with the men, and if I said other than that, I'd be in trouble with my wife. So more power to her."

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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