Basketball: Pac-12 commish backs refs boss

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott is backing Ed Rush, the league’s director of officials for men’s basketball, despite Rush offering incentives to game officials for giving Arizona coach Sean Miller a technical foul during the Pac-12 tournament.

Rush has said he was joking and Scott on Tuesday told Andy Katz of ESPN.com that Rush won’t be fired.

Here’s the story.

Jeff Faraudo

  • BlakeStreetBear

    So not surprised that the leader of this pack of clowns is the biggest clown of all…smh…

  • Gobears49

    In my opinion, Larry Scott is a joke. He needs to confine his activities to negotiating contracts with TV networks and marketing. Period. That is something he knows about. He seems to know nothing about preserving the integrity of how his conference is perceived by people who attend or just watch on TV Pac-12 sporting events in terms of the fairness and equality in which its officials call a game and treat all league players and coaches.

    Perception of the public is key here and Scott either is too uninformed about the importance of preserving that, or just doesn’t care, to know that a message must be sent to likes of Ed Rush, through some penalty on him of some kind, even as mild as requiring him to apologize, that even jokes about telling refs to give a specific coach a technical foul in a future game will not be tolerated. Rush shouldn’t be fired, but needs to be sent a clear message that this sort of thing cannot happen again, a message which Monty justifiably received from the Pac-12 heirarchy (I think made by Scott) for his push on Crabbe. But I don’t think it will happen, because Scott simply doesn’t get it. To him, coaches can be reprimanded by not the guy who is in charge of all the Pac-12 refs. All players, coaches, refs, and the refs’ boss, need to be reminded that appearances for what they say and do are very important to give the public peace of mind that all of them act in a reasonable manner in not in a way which gives the appearance of impropriety.

  • Gobears49

    If Larry Scott doesn’t demand a public apology from Ed Rush for his remarks, if he hasn’t already, then Rush could privately tell his refs he wants a certain team to win by a certain amount, because he has a bet on them. Then he could later say it was a joke, and receive no punishment or reprimand (preferably a public one, with a public apology), even though the public would be concerned that such remarks damaged the integrity of Pac 12 games. What’s the real difference between those hypothetical facts and what occurred with respect to Rush’s remarks about offering his refs an incentive to give Sean Miller a technical foul? Nothing, really.

  • GoldenTrailsDave

    what a joke

  • Rollonubears

    There’s only one reason a person in the commissioner’s spot doesn’t ask for this offcial’s resignation, and that’s if he’s got something to hide himself..

  • rob bear

    As noted in the initial piece reported the day before, this is disturbing on many levels. The AD’s and presidents of each of the schools should get involved. This just smells bad if Scott allows this guy to return…

  • rollonubears

    This story is going to get more interesting as people start digging a little deeper.

  • CalBearister

    I have less respect for Larry Scott every day it seems. If I get in a TSA line, then “joke” about having a gun in my bag, do I get off scot free? The idea that Rush could even joke about paying refs to call a T on a coach and keep is job is laughable.

    Fire Rush, or fire Scott and replace him with someone who will fire Rush and clean up the officiating in this conference.

  • Juancho

    This guy seemed like a rock star after negotiating the network deal.

    Then he got played by texas and oklahoma. Then the pac 12 network went a whole football season without getting on directv. And the channel continues to be a huge dissapointment outside of football season. As many sports as there are and its nonstop reruns with just about zero baseball games for cal.

    Now this?

    Oh forgot how he moved the big game last year to a wednesday in july or whenever it was.

  • Gobears49

    Right on Juancho.

    I agree with Rob Bear that the league presidents and AD’s need to get involved as this whole incident has caused a major image problem for the league. The whole thing stinks to high heaven.

    Can’t believe that a coach gets reprimanded for a slight push on a player but that nothing happens when the guy in charge of all refs provides an incentive to penalize a specific coach and his team that could affect the outcome of a game (and some would argue that actually occurred). Scott is just a dumb a**.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    I like how “a ref in the room” confirmed all knew it was a joke. No one asked the guy that T’d up Miller. Let me guess – he couldn’t be reached because he was vacationing in Cancun.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    In his defense, EVERYTHING the Pac 12 refs do is a joke.

  • Gobears49


    I’m a poor punster, but I still enjoy it. I think Ed Rush is going around saying, about the repercussions concerning his incentive statements, that he “got off Scott free.”

  • Gobears49


    In light of the great season Cal rugby is having (undefeated, 176 – 0 win over Stanford, convincing wins over chief rival British Columbia U.), if they haven’t done so already, the Pac – 12 network should do a story on Cal rugby, even though I don’t think it officially is a varsity sport anymore. Some pub should be given to Cal rugby by somebody, including Jeff’s regular column and blog.

  • bigdruid

    Refs are better this last year than they’ve ever been in my 25 years of watching PAC hoops. I give full credit to Scott and Rush for this.

    You guys are making too big of a deal out of a joke in an internal meeting – you are getting played by the old PAC refs who don’t like the changes Rush has brought.

  • Gobears49

    Here is an interesting phone interview with a reporter from ESPN.com who talked to a ref in the meeting, who said he didn’t think Rush was joking and that it appeared to him that if you don’t play ball with Rush you won’t get future assignments from him. He also said he didn’t think Larry Scott spoke to officials in the room when Rush made his statement before Scott cleared Rush.

    The reporter was at the game and said he thought, at the time, that the T given to Miller was really quick and that the ref had made the wrong call.

    The ESPN reporter thinks there is more to come on this saga.

    In response to Bigdruid — maybe what Rush said was meant to be a joke, but there are certain things you don’t joke about. Like someone mentioned above, when you’re going through security (or probably anywhere else in an airport), you don’t tell people you have a bomb. You don’t go around telling people you’re going to kill the president. And when you’re the head of officials, you don’t state you’re offering a financial incentive to get a specific coach in a specific game to be T’d up or ejected. The reason for the latter is that such statements give a reasonable impression by the public that the game was not officiated fairly. That clearly is something that the Pac -12 should want to avoid, but perhaps not Larry Scott.


  • rollonubears

    If we were to put a stop to all the illegal activity in sport, there would be no sport. There’s very little integrity in big business, sports, government, you name it. I would say it’s better just to watch peewee football, but then you might get shot.