CBS Sports – 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.
“He was emphatic about not dealing with him (Miller),” the ref told CBSSports.com. “He made that perfectly clear.”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.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott issued a statement to CBSSports.com:
“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.”
Referee Michael Irving — who sources confirmed was in the room with Rush on Friday — hit Miller with a controversial technical with 4:37 left in the Pac-12 semifinals against UCLA. The Bruins wound up winning the game, 66-64. Miller was upset about a double-dribble call on Arizona point guard Mark Lyons, arguing that a UCLA player had gotten his hand on the ball before Lyons picked it up.
First things first, if I’m part of the group of officials that was working any Arizona game you better believe I’m looking for the perfect opportunity to hand out a tech or toss Sean Miller real quick. Then I’m texting Ed at the next break and saying, “where’s my vacation, bro” Fuck 5-grand, I want a trip to Cancun. Its always joked about that sports have shit like this going on, but everyone pushes it to the back burner. Fuck that noise. Refs are people just like you and me. Sometimes they have bad days, sometimes shit pisses them off, and sometimes they just hate one of the coaches. I get it. I hate a lot of people too. But if you’re going to go around offering payouts for illegal actions during a sporting event, you have to do it on the down low. Can’t be making it obvious like Tim Donaghy did. Not only do you lose your job, but you lose all your money. And that my friend, is the worst. If I was making enough money to pay people 5 grand or a vacation to do some dirty work, having my job taken away that funds these actions would be disheartening. People hating me, or thinking I’m dirty, or evil, or what have you wouldn’t bother me. I just want to keep all my money, and the way I make all my money. Money makes the world go round. Which is why the Pac-12 ref threw a technical Sean Miller’s way that night. Money, money, money. Moooonnnnnaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.
PS, I’d probably ring him up too if he kept yelling “he touched the ball” at me. Jesus, bro, I got the point. He touched the ball. Now shut the hell up.
PSS, If I had money on Arizona winning and this happened, Ed Rush is on my radar. Dude would owe me all my winnings plus $5,000 and a vacation to Cancun. I want the works. Otherwise it’s Broken Legs City, bro.