According to Arizona basketball coach Sean Miller, all he said before getting assessed a technical foul in a Pac-12 Tournament game against UCLA was “He touched the ball.”
The video can be seen here:
Anyway, the Cats lost the game by two and Miller left incredibly upset with the technical foul he received from official Michael Irving. Miller was later fined by the conference for incidents related to the game, and everyone seemed to move forward.
Then, CBSSports.com’s Jeff Goodman broke a story titled “Pac-12 head of officials investigated for targeting Arizona’s Sean Miller”.
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.
Arizona forward Solomon Hill tweeted out a thought on the matter:
im waiting for the PAC-12 to reveal its just an April fools joke…
— Solomon Hill (@kingxsolo) April 1, 2013
According to the report, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott issued a statement regarding the issue.
“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.”
A complete statement issued by Scott and the Pac-12 can be read here.
Rush has been the Pac-12’s supervisor of officials since 2012. Before that he was the NBA’s director of officiating from 1998-2003.