The story of Pac-12 coordinator of officials Ed Rush allegedly placing a “bounty” on Arizona head coach Sean Miller was one that slipped into the background after initial outrage on Monday due in large part to the happenings at Rutgers.
But there’s no doubt that this situation, in which Rush was reported to have offered officials $5,000 or a vacation if they were to hit Miller with a technical foul (or eject him) during the Pac-12 tournament, was something commissioner Larry Scott had to address.
Thursday evening the conference issued a statement that Rush was resigning, effective immediately.
“I want to express my appreciation for the great contribution Ed made to basketball officiating for the Conference during his tenure, particularly in the area of training and the cultivation of new officiating talent,” Scott said in the statement. “All of us at the Conference thank him for his years of hard work, and we wish him well.”
Miller was assessed a technical foul late in Arizona’s Pac-12 semifinal loss to UCLA, a game the Wildcats ended up losing by two points (66-64). In his postgame press conference Miller insisted that the most he said was “he touched the ball” in reference to a double dribble violation called on point guard Mark Lyons.
A UCLA player touching the ball would make it legal for Lyons to pick up the ball. The officials thought otherwise, and Miller’s assertion ultimately led to Michael Irving hitting him with a technical foul.
Regardless of whether Rush was joking or serious when making the statement, the conference ended up in a position where it had to act as the credibility of the league’s officials was brought into question.
Rush’s resignation was a necessary step for the Pac-12 but it won’t be the final chapter in this “book.” The only question now is whether or not more officials speak up in regards to the alleged incident and their time working under Rush.