Mountain West, Pac-12 announce new officiating alliance

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The question of who the Pac-12 would hire to replace former coordinator of men’s basketball officials Ed Rush has been answered, and the position will be filled in an unprecedented manner.

The Pac-12 and Mountain West announced a new officiating alliance on Friday afternoon, with longtime Mountain West officiating coordinator Bobby Dibler overseeing both programs.

It isn’t uncommon to see officials who work Pac-12 games also working Mountain West games (happens throughout the country), so this alliance was likely a logical next step.

“Our objective is to provide the best officiating program for our teams and student-athletes,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in the press release. “Under this new alliance, we will be better positioned to attract top lead officials, and to achieve the greatest consistency and accountability deserving of our excellent basketball programs.

“This alliance also allows us to further develop a rigorous training, evaluation and development program for the next generation of elite officials.”

It can be argued that the most important aspect of Dibler’s job, from a Pac-12 standpoint at least, is restoring the league’s credibility in the aftermath of the controversy involving Arizona head coach Sean Miller that ultimately led to Rush stepping down from his position.

While an independent review revealed that the situation was handled properly, all it takes is one questionable decision to have fans howling about a conspiracy.

The sharing of officials wasn’t the only move announced by the two leagues, as there will also be a training program for officials that includes the Big West, West Coast and Western Athletic conferences. The WCC and Big West have taken part in the Pac-12’s training program for officials in the past.

“I am very humbled, but also very honored and excited to lead this effort,” said Dibler.  “For our officials, this is great opportunity to improve their officiating skills, maximize their schedule and reduce travel. I look forward to establishing a top preseason training program and outlining a clear communications process between all our officials, the conferences, and our coaches.”

With these moves the question now is whether or not the end result will be a higher level of consistency across the board. If that happens, Friday’s developments will be considered a positive for all leagues involved.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.