By Dennis Berry
Sports fans are always quick to judge a referee's call during the game. Any questionable call that happens is talked about for days.
For basketball referees the one thing that you don't see happen is them become a big part of the game. A good day on the job for them is if no fans are talking about them after the game. They can just ref the game and go home.
Well, referees in the Pac-12 might not be so lucky next year.
Yesterday Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports reported that Pac-12 coordinator of officials Ed Rush offered referees $5,000 or a trip to Cancun in exchange for a technical foul or ejection of Arizona's Sean Miller. This was before the start of the Pac-12 Tournament. According to the report, Rush said the same thing the next day.
That day of the tournament Arizona played UCLA in the semi-finals. Towards the end of the game Sean Miller was hit with a technical foul for arguing a call. Arizona guard Mark Lyons was called for a double-dribble, but Miller said that UCLA Jordan Adams had touched the ball. According to the LA Times story linked all Miller said was:
So Miller was hit with a technical foul. UCLA won the game 66-64. It was Miller's first technical of the year.
At the time, not much was made about it. A referee missed a call and perhaps was quick to ring up Miller. It's not like it's the first time that had occurred during a game.
Then the story came out about the Pac-12 looking into Rush. Then the technical foul became a whole lot bigger. It had an effect on the outcome of the game and perhaps Arizona's NCAA seeding.
The Pac-12 says that Rush was just joking. They cleared Rush and said that he was not serious.
Now the Pac-12 has a much bigger issue on their hands. The creditability of their officials is on the line. How can anyone look or judge them fairly if Rush is still in charge next season? Almost every questionable call will be judged.
There is only one thing that the Pac-12 can do: fire Ed Rush.
If they do not want fans to question officials next year, the only thing to do is remove Scott. If they keep him it is almost a public relations mess. Fans know what Rush has said and that will be in the back of their minds.
The one thing that officials are supposed to do is make sure that the playing field is even. There might be a difference in talent between the two teams, but the game will be played the same way on both ends. Referees will make sure the rules are enforced.
How can fans think that is happening if Rush is allowed to keep his job? They can't.
How will Arizona and Sean Miller be able to go into conference games next year and feel like they will get a fair shot? They can't.
That is why Ed Rush must go.
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