It might be time for Pac-12 men’s basketball coordinator of officials Ed Rush to do the noble thing and retire. After all, he’s north of 70 and officiating basketball games is a younger man’s job these days. Especially when this specific old man is apparently offering other refs $5,000 to make sure certain coaches are ejected. At least that’s what Rush is being accused of in a new report by Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports.
According to anonymous Pac-12 basketball officials, Rush has a personal vendetta against Arizona Wildcats coach Sean Miller, enough so that he attempted to bribe and “bully” his fellow officials.
Rush, according to a source within the Pac-12 officiating group, told a group of referees on the Thursday of the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas that he would give them $5,000 or a trip to Cancun if they either “rang him up” or “ran him,” meaning hit Miller with a technical or toss him out of the game. Rush then reiterated during a Friday morning meeting, according to one referee in attendance, that officials should take similar action against Miller if he did anything on Friday in the Pac-12 semifinals against UCLA.
“He was emphatic about not dealing with him (Miller),” the ref told CBSSports.com. “He made that perfectly clear.”
In that meeting was referee Michael Irving, who called a technical on Miller in the Pac-12 semifinals later that evening. Miller swore that he never directed any profanities at the officiating crew, but he earned the T and a $25,000 fine for confronting an official after the Cats lost to UCLA by 2 points.
As a result, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott brushed Rush’s $5,000 bounty off as a joke and slapped him on the wrist. Because if we know anything to be true, it’s that simply telling a guy to stop being mean to someone will certainly make him stop. Clearly, Arizona basketball fans have nothing to worry about next season. Right, giraffe?
Meanwhile, this is also bad news for the NBA, because up until 2003 Rush was the league’s director of officiating, and there are plenty of fans out there who still haven’t moved on from the Tim Donaghy scandal. While Donaghy’s “indiscretions” took place in 2006 and 2007, there are people who think that the problem goes way back and even still exists to this day. Otherwise, we probably wouldn’t still have videos like this popping up every week.
In conclusion, Ed Rush is about 15 years late for his appointment with a 4:30 dinner and the weekend shuffleboard tournament at Shady Pines.
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