This story just blows my mind.
Pac-12 coordinator of basketball officials and former NBA referee Ed Rush has been investigated by the Pac-12 for comments made about Arizona coach Sean Miller in meetings that included several Pac-12 referees.
Rush, according to a source within the Pac-12 officiating group, told a group of referees on the Thursday of the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas that he would give them $5,000 or a trip to Cancun if they either “rang him up” or “ran him,” meaning hit Miller with a technical or toss him out of the game. Rush then reiterated during a Friday morning meeting, according to one referee in attendance, that officials should take similar action against Miller if he did anything on Friday in the Pac-12 semifinals against UCLA.
“He was emphatic about not dealing with him (Miller),” the ref told CBSSports.com. “He made that perfectly clear.”
And in fact, Rush got his wish. Miller was rung up for a questionable technical foul in the game against UCLA and then was fined $25,000 by the league for confronting a game official after the game had concluded.
What about Rush, though? Pac-12 commish Larry Scott is on the mother.
“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,” Scott told CBSSports.com. “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.”
That’s some joke.
I know this is a basketball matter, but don’t forget that the Pac-12 has a reputation for not giving a shit about what its officials do. Scott’s gotten credit for cleaning things up on the football side, but there’s certainly more than a whiff of the more things change, the more things stay the same about this matter with Rush.
“He’s a bully,” the referee said of Rush. “He just bullies everyone. That was his whole tenor of the meeting on Friday. We’re all afraid of him. He’s the most respected basketball officiating person on the West Coast and he’s been given all the juice.”
Ed Rush did not wish to comment further, telling CBSSports.com, “Larry’s made a statement. I’m in concert with what he said. We’re going to move on from there.”
If you’re a football coach, what are you supposed to think about how the conference would deal with the next big officiating screw up?