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Basketball: Rush resigns as Pac-12 ref boss

This ended the only way it could have, with Ed Rush offering his resignation as Pac-12 coordinator of basketball officials.

Whether he was “encouraged” by his bosses to resign or simply came to the decision on his own, Rush could not remain in the position after offering a bounty to game officials if they hit Arizona coach Sean Miller with a technical foul or ejected him.

Rush said he made the comments in jest, and Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott believed him.

It’s not the point. Perception is everything when it comes to the credibility of game officials, and the Pac-12 was not easily going to put this matter in the rear view mirror as long as Rush remained at his post.

Here’s the story.

Jeff Faraudo

  • CalBearister

    Nobody just “resigns” like that – it’s clear he got pushed out. Larry Scott should have had the stones to affirmatively fire him. But he’s a salesman, not a leader.

  • rob bear

    A bit late, but the right move. Every T or non-call on T’s would have been second guessed from here on out had this guy stayed on. The fans would have been brutal on all crews officiating basketball games and at the end of the day, our commissioner would have no one to blame but himself.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Way to drop the ball, Scott. Rush resigning makes the problem worse, IMO. He needed to be fired. The league had to rise to the occasion. Instead, it’s the situation where the scapegoat in a currupt system has to take a bullet so the status quo can continue.

    The league is currupt. Hell, almost all of sport is currupt. It is no surprise. Would anything really surprise after the latest Auburn crap. How long until a school covers up a murder or two?

  • Eric

    @Wisdom

    Sometimes you and I have disagreed, but here we are 100% in lock-step. Larry Scott completely screwed this up.

    And the problem is that Pac-12 fans have known for years (decades even) how bad our refs are. Get rid of the whole lot, throw some of the media rights money at highly qualified individuals, and let’s become credible.

  • Drizzlyboy

    The Pac-10/12 officiating has been suspect since my days there in the 80s. There are always bad calls in all games at all levels. Perhaps it’s my bias, but it seems the bad calls in Pac-10/12 games have been signficantly worse.

    I think Larry Scott dropped the ball by “firing” Rush discreetly, allowing him to save some face with a resignation, but agree that this wasn’t a time for niceties, and the Pac-12 should have taken a public stand by firing him outright.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    There have been suspect calls for as long as I watched, too, Drizzlyboy, starting in the 80′s as well.

    I always thought they were incompetent. No longer.

    This is a business. Scott wants to market the league. The NBA has long been thought to fix games for ratings (ask Kings fans). What did Scott do to “improve” his league? Brought in an NBA guy. It just stinks.

    I think back now, on blatantly bad calls that managed to help swing momentum in games, and I think back to things Tim Donaghy said about how easy it was to influence games. You may not always change the result, but it’s a lot easier than most people think, putting the right guy in foul trouble, stopping a rally or a run. I really think directives are usually in place.

    How this was handled tipped me from a “could be” perspective to a “more likely than not” one.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Interesting note, Rush was director of NBA officiating from 1998 to 2003, leaving that position the year after the infamous Kings Lakers game 6. Coincidence?

  • 66Bear

    Jeff, I have an editorial comment on the statement in your report that “Larry Scott believed” Rush’s statement that his bounty comments were in jest. More accurately, the report should state that Larry Scott CLAIMED that he had believed Rush’s comments. And if Scott improbably accepted and condoned Rush’s “jest,” it’s worse. Any manager who is so quick to accept at face value the lame denial of a subordinate who is in the spotlight for corrupt conduct as Rush was, the manager should also be investigated for either corruption or stupidity, IMO.

    Regarding the complaints above about Scott bungling the termination of Rush, there are also other possible motives for allowing Rush to ease his way out and not firing him. Assuming that there is anything to the suspicions stated above about the NBA connection and Scott being interested in “improving the product,” someone in Scott’s place might have made the termination as agreeable as possible to the employee departing under a cloud because the departing employee too much about his boss’s involvement.

  • BlueNGold

    It is a start at least. If the Pac 12 has aspirations of being a top ranked college conference, it needs to get its officiating act in order. The most frequent comments that one hears about conference games concern the awful officiating. Time to clean house from top to bottom and rebuild the officiating program into one that is at least respectable and not always seeming either incompetent or, even worse, corrupt.