After an internal investigation, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott exonerated Ed Rush, the conference’s coordinator of officials, for comments made during the league tournament about offering financial rewards for technical fouls during the tourney.
Sources told CBSsports.com said Rush specifically targeted Arizona coach Sean Miller and offered a bounty to the referee who threw him out of a game.
However, an internal investigation cleared Rush.
Scott told The Times: “I can confirm that following the Pac-12 men’s basketball tournament, we received a complaint that Pac-12 coordinator of officials Ed Rush offered game officials inappropriate incentives for being stricter with Pac-12 coaches. I consider the integrity of our officiating program to be of the highest importance and immediately ordered a review of the matter. Based on the review, we have concluded that while Rush made inappropriate comments that he now regrets during internal meetings that referenced rewards, he made the comments in jest and the officials in the room realized they were not serious offers. Following our review, we have discussed the matter with Rush, taken steps to ensure it does not happen again, and communicated our findings to all of our officials.”
Miller was ultimately given a technical foul during the Pac-12 tournament semifinal, which led to Arizona’s 66-64 defeat. Miller was also reprimanded and fined $25,000 by Scott for confronting a game official on the floor and acting inappropriately toward a conference staff member in a hallway.
“Based on the review I had ordered on this issue, it was clear that the point Ed Rush was trying to make was about coaches’ behavior and decorum generally,” Scott told the Times on Monday.
So essentially, the Pac-12 concluded Rush did say things like he’d pay $5,000 or finance a trip to Cancun for the ref who ejects Miller as was detailed in the CBSsports.com report. However, Scott believes Rush was joking.
Well, then there you go.
Here’s a lesson for you kiddos, it’s OK to say foolish things that would otherwise get you fired if you’re joking. And of course as long as you’re employed by the Pac-12.
And to think, Rush, a longtime NBA official who was the NBA’s director of officiating from 1998-2003, was hired to clean up the Pac-12′s perception of bad officiating.