Pac-12 coordinator of officials Ed Rush was investigated for comments he made about Arizona head coach Sean Miller at this year's Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas.
Rush told officials on the day of the Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals that he would give them $5,000 or a trip to Cancun if they gave Miller a technical foul or ejected him from the game, reports Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports. One referee said Rush made a similar comment the next day in a meeting before the Wildcats' semifinal game against UCLA.
The comments were inappropriate, but clearly meant in jest, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said in a release Monday.
"I consider the integrity of our officiating program to be of the highest importance and immediately ordered a review of the matter. 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. 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."
Miller did receive a technical foul late in the Wildcats' game against UCLA after arguing a double-dribble call. Goodman says the referee who issued the technical, Michael Irving, was in the room when Rush made the controversial comments.
Miller later criticized the technical foul call and was fined $25,000 for confronting an official after the game. Goodman cites a source that says the call was uncharacteristic of Irving's officiating style and it was "absolutely because of what was said in the meeting."
When reached for comment, Rush only told CBS, "Larry's made a statement. I'm in concert with what he said. We're going to move on from there."
Rush has been a consultant to the Pac-12's officiating program since 2007 and was named the conference's coordinator of officials in 2012.