November 30, 2012; Stanford, CA, USA; Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott smiles on the sideline before the Pac-12 Championship game between the Stanford Cardinal and the UCLA Bruins at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
For one reason or another, Ed Rush is gone from the Pac-12 and it is absolutely for the best. There was certainly a growing tension about the officiating of the league, especially after the recent news and conflicting statements by the officials about Rush’s statements and actions prior to the Pac-12 Tournament games a few weeks ago. But now all of it can be put to rest.
You know the story so I won’t beleaguer the points of contention, but it’s interesting to me that the officials in this instance wouldn’t be ok with talking out publicly about their concerns. I mean they did, kind of, but they certainly were shy about doing it and even told the Pac-12 something different than they told guys like Andy Katz of ESPN. I can’t speak for why, but it is interesting that there would be fear of game assignments being lost. I mean, if you’re a top official (and everybody in that room was/is a top official doing the tournament) it seems to me you have little to worry about, right?
Of course if Rush had not resigned and you weren’t “on his team” with him being the assigner, I can see that issue. But it concerns me that a group of officials would lie to the conference and say nothing happened if they felt threatened by the way the assigner was acting and then subsequently go to ESPN and talk about it openly. In and of itself, that doesn’t exactly inspire confidence from me as a fan.
Either way though, it’s over and it’s not a bad outcome, at all. Now that we know there was more than just an offer of “figurative” money on the table, that there was actual physical demonstration that involved hurling things, I am 100% on board with Rush being dismissed (or resigning, but in this case it’s possible he was given the option to leave gracefully). As Larry Scott said, the comments weren’t a fire-able offense (even though it wasn’t sitting well around the conference, eventually everyone would have got over it), but physical demonstration for intimidation is not acceptable in any way, ever.
It will be interesting to see if Scott goes younger with his next hire. It seems like there was a basketball philosophy gap between the officials and Ed Rush that was just too big to patch, and of course Rush is an older man. That obviously can become a huge issue when you’re working at such a high level, so I can see Larry Scott wanting to bridge that up to get his desired results of better Pac-12 officiating.
What I really want to know, is will anybody throw out a coaching technical next season? If I were a coach, I’d test that for all it was worth.