The college basketball world is buzzing about the article in which Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports reported that a “bounty” was offered by Pac-12 head of basketball officials Ed Rush to referees who called technical fouls or ejected Arizona head coach Sean Miller during the Pac-12 Tournament last month.
It has been met with a lot of reaction, including some from Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott, who said Rush was speaking “in jest” about financial incentives to officials.
Steve Javie, a retired NBA official who served the league for 25 years, had a little different reaction.
“You give him a raise, I say,” Javie told Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio Tuesday when asked what the Pac-12 should do with Ed Rush now. “You have a man like Ed Rush, who is so highly qualified for any position of supervision here. He’s a great mentor, a great teacher.
“What he’s trying to enforce right now in the Pac-12 is so brand new to the college ranks. He’s trying to have basically an integrity-based or a merit-based system for officials. He’s coming in with no preconceived notions of anybody, trying to teach officials to be the best that they can possibly be.”
Javie elaborated and said Rush’s beliefs are far from the norm in college basketball.
“Where college always has been, and still is to this day, it still is targeting officials — and by that I mean, there are scratch lists,” he said. “College coaches call the commissioner and say ‘I don’t want this guy.’ Well, the guy doesn’t work in the league. So all of the sudden what you end up with is a ‘good ol’ boys’ network at times where college coaches get the officials they want instead of the ones who are most qualified.”
So that’s Rush’s big plan, according to Javie. But what about his comments specific to the Arizona-UCLA Pac-12 Tournament game in question?
“Do I realize that this is 2013 and certain things shouldn’t be said and if Ed did say this and if Ed admitted to it, he realizes he shouldn’t have said this in jest,” Javie stated. “I know Ed Rush. He throws quarters around like manhole covers, he’s not going to give up $5,000 or a trip to Cancun, I know that for a fact.”
Some believe that the main goal of the quick technical foul, regardless of what official calls it, is to control coaches’ behavior on the sideline.
“There obviously has been a problem here with regard to bench decorum, whether it be all of the Pac-12 or just certain teams and certain coaches, which it normally is,” Javie said. “The Pac-12 then says ‘we have to be able to take care of these benches because it looks bad — we don’t need coaches out there complaining and jumping up and down and screaming and hollering — we need to control this.'”
Miller can be demonstrative on the sideline — most college coaches are. It is interesting to note that the technical assessed by official Michael Irving in the UCLA game was Miller’s first of the season.