Two days after the league's commissioner determined Ed Rush's controversial comments were not a "fireable offense," the Pac-12 Conference's coordinator of officials resigned Thursday.
Rush was investigated for his comments to a group of officials in regard to Arizona head coach Sean Miller during the Pac-12 tournament in mid-March. As first reported by CBSSports.com, Rush offered a $5,000 bounty or trip to Cancun for a technical or ejection of Miller.
But Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said the comments were made "in jest," and that the officials in the room did not take the offer seriously.
Rush, however, said his resignation "reflects my strong desire to see the Pac-12 officiating program continue to grow and thrive."
"My first and highest concerns have always been the integrity of the game of basketball and the honor of the craft of officiating," Rush said in a statement released by the conference.
In a 66-64 semifinal loss to UCLA, referee Michael Irving gave Miller a technical foul after UA guard Mark Lyons was whistled for a double-dribble call. Miller said in his postgame press conference that he did not cuss, only that Bruins guard Jordan Adams "touched the ball."
After the game, Miller confronted an official and acted inappropriately toward a Pac-12 staff member. For those actions, the league reprimanded and fined Miller $25,000.
There was no mention of the events surrounding the Pac-12 tournament in the release.
UA athletic director Greg Byrne tweeted this shortly after news of Rush's resignation was announced:
Although u never want someone to lose their job, this is a good step for the Pac-12 in restoring confidence in the bball officiating program- Greg Byrne (@Greg_Byrne) April 5, 2013
After the college basketball season, the Pac-12 will start the process in searching for a replacement as part of the overall program review, Scott said.
Rush, a consultant for the Pac-12 since 2007, was named the league's coordinator of officials in May 2012. Rush spent 32 years in the NBA as an official and was the league's director of officiating from 1998 to 2003.
"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. All of us at the conference thank him for his years of hard work, and we wish him well," Scott said in the release.
Click Here to view this Link.Tracy McDannald
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