Normally this is the time of year when we celebrate the pageantry of college basketball. Anticipation builds for Saturday’s Final Four games and Monday’s national championship contest.
But this week is different.
On Monday news broke of a scandal involving Ed Rush, the head of officiating in the Pac-12, who made inappropriate comments during the conference tournament. Citing unnamed sources, CBSsports.com reported Rush told officials to get tougher on coaches and offered a $5,000 bounty and a trip to Cancun to the ref who gave a technical foul to Arizona coach Sean Miller or ejected him from a game. Sure enough, Miller was given a technical foul in the conference tourney semifinals.
After an internal investigation, the Pac-12 concluded Rush was joking when he made the comments. The conference plans to retain to Rush.
“I do not find anything that rises to a fireable offense or a breach of ethics or a breach of the integrity of officiating or the program,” commissioner Larry Scott told ESPN.
On Tuesday, ESPN revealed a compilation video (above) from 2010-12 of Rutger’s men’s basketball coach Mike Rice yelling homophobic slurs at his players, kicking them, grabbing them, shoving them and throwing basketballs at them from point-blank range as if they were playing dodge ball. After seeing the video in December, athletic director Tim Pernetti fined Rice $50,000 and suspended him for three games.
The whistle-blower in this case Eric Murdock, a former Rutgers director of player personnel, compiled the video and gave it to his supervisors last summer. His contract was not renewed. He plans to sue the university for wrongful termination.
At the moment, Pernetti is standing behind Rice. However, sentiment is building for his dismissal.
Basketball analyst Jalen Rose said via twitter Rice should be fired immediately.