The question of whether or not a legitimate “bounty” was placed on Arizona head coach Sean Miller during the Pac-12 tournament eventually led to the resignation of Pac-12 coordinator of basketball officials Ed Rush.
But even with Rush’s decision to step aside the Pac-12 still has to address the question as to whether or not their officials were influenced during the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas. As a result the conference announced on Wednesday that there will be an independent review of the officiating during the conference tournament.
The review will focus not only on the performance of game officials throughout the conference tournament but also ways in which the league can improve its officiating. Remember, Pac-12 play this season also featured the Sabatino Chen game-winner that was waved off in early January.
“Nothing is more important to the Pac- 12, or to me personally, than maintaining confidence in our integrity,” commissioner Larry Scott said in the release.
“Given the conflicting media reports, it is important that we do whatever we can to understand all the facts, not only to resolve the questions about officiating during the tournament but also to learn lessons that will help us make changes and improvements to our overall program.”
Results of the review will be reported directly to the Executive Committee of the Pac-12’s CEO Group governing board.
What the review ultimately discovers remains to be seen, but given the uproar that resulted following the allegations of a possible bounty being placed on a coach it is a necessary step.
The last thing any official can afford is to have his integrity questioned, and had the Pac-12 decided that Rush’s resignation was the end of the issue those concerns would have lingered well into next season.
Does this move mean that fans won’t have their doubts? No, and that would certainly be their right. But at the very least, bringing in an independent group to evaluate conference officials is a step towards making sure a situation like this doesn’t happen again.