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Source: Big Gaps Between NFL, Refs

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NEW YORK (AP) – A person familiar with the negotiations says the NFL and its locked-out officials have met the last two days but still remain far apart in settling their dispute.

The person briefed The Associated Press on Friday, requesting anonymity because the negotiations are intended to remain private.

The person added in the email that no progress has been made and no further talks are scheduled.

The NFL locked out the regular officials in June and has been using replacement officials as the season enters its third full weekend. Many players, coaches and fans have been upset with what they say is poor officiating.

The NFL has warned teams that it won’t tolerate confrontational behavior toward replacement officials.

NFL.com said on Thursday night that senior league officials called owners, general managers and coaches from all 32 teams to tell them that respect for the game demands better on-field behavior.

NFL executive vice president Ray Anderson singled out Monday night’s game for having examples of “unacceptable behavior.”

He didn’t specify which incidents in the Atlanta Falcons’ victory over Denver crossed the line, but Broncos coach John Fox and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio both had heated arguments with officials.

Anderson said, “We’re not going to tolerate it.”

He said flags, fines and suspensions are possible for coaches or players who crossed the line.

The NFL locked out the regular officials in June and contract negotiations have broken down.

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Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Material may not be redistributed.

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