Report: Pac-12 Head of Officiating Offered $5K Bounty
The Pac-12's head of officiating, Ed Rush, is under investigation for allegedly ordering and offering referrees $5,000 or a trip to Cancun to call technical fouls on Arizona head coach Sean Miller or throw him out of the game.
He claims he made the comments in jest.
CBS Sports reports that Rush told officials at a meeting before the Pac-12 tournament that he would give them $5,000 if they either "rang him up" or "ran him." Rush reportedly made similar comments to referees who were working Arizona's Pac-12 semifinal game against UCLA on Friday of the Pac-12 tournament three weeks ago.
The CBS source said Rush was "perfectly clear" about what he wanted and, sure enough, Miller got a technical foul in Arizona's 66-64 loss to UCLA. Referee Michael Irving assessed Miller the technical and sources told CBS the technical was out of character for Irving and "there's no doubt" Irving gave Miller the questionable technical because of the "bad position" he was in because of his superviser Rush's demands.
"As a basketball referee, it's a horrible position to be put in by your supervisor," the source said. "If you don't do anything, you probably won't get any good games down the road--or you may not get any games at all. That leaves us in a tough spot."
Miller was adamant after the game that the only thing he said to the referee was, "He touched the ball," in reference to the double drible call on Arizona's Mark Lyons Miller felt should not have been called because Lyons picked up the ball after a UCLA player had touched the ball.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott issued a statement to CBS Sports in which he said the league concluded Rush's comments were "inappropriate" and believes they were made in jest.
"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 said. "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."