The Pacific 12 Conference investigated comments made by coordinator of basketball officials Ed Rush in meetings with referees about Arizona coach Sean Miller but determined that no punitive action was necessary.
CBSSports.com reported that Rush, a former NBA referee, told Pac-12 referees twice at the conference tournament in March in Las Vegas that he would give $5,000 to anyone who "rang him up" or "ran him," referring to giving Miller a technical or ejecting him from a game.
"He was emphatic about not dealing with (Miller)," an unnamed referee told CBSSports.com. "He made that perfectly clear."
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott told CBSSports.com that he reviewed Rush's comments and said Rush was joking.
"We have concluded that while Rush made inappropriate comments that he now regrets during internal meetings that referenced rewards, he made the comments in jest and the officials in the room realized they were not serious offers," Scott said. "Following our review, we have discussed the matter with Rush, taken steps to ensure it does not happen again, and communicated our findings to all of our officials."
Referee Michael Irving whistled Miller for a technical with 4:37 left in a Pac-12 semifinals against UCLA after he complained about a double-dribble call on Arizona point guard Mark Lyons. The Bruins went on to win the game 66-64.
The Pac-12 reprimanded Miller and fined $25,000 for confronting a referee afterward and also for his behavior toward a conference staff member. Miller contended that he merely repeated to the ref that the ball was touched on the disputed call.
Rush refused to comment other than to tell CBSSports.com: "Larry's made a statement. I'm in concert with what he said. We're going to move on from there."