Larry Scott had a great opportunity to do the right thing in the wake of a scandal that raised serious doubt to the integrity of the Pac-12 Conference. He had the chance to send a Roger Goodellian, not-while-I-run-things-around-here message to Ed Rush for jeopardizing the morality of officiating in a conference where the officiating has already been seriously questioned. Instead, Ed Rush did Scott a goliath favor by resigning from the disaster he created, allowing Scott to let out a week long sigh of relief and get out of the mess “Scott free” (sorry, I couldn’t resist).
Now that it appears to be over, many have told me it is time to forgive and forget. People aren’t perfect, after all, and it is time to continue allowing Scott to do what has until now been a phenomenal job with the conference. As long as Ed Rush is no longer in the same mix as Sean Miller, the Pac-12 can go on as peachy as pie, right?
Not so fast, Mr. Scott–you haven’t regained my respect or approval just yet. First and foremost, I believe Scott and his Pac-12 officials owe coach Miller a public apology for berating him, costing him a basketball game and a potential #4 seed in the NCAA tournament, which would have likely landed Arizona in the elite eight against Ohio State instead of the Sweet 16. Now that Ed Rush has come out publicly admitting both calls (the double dribble followed by the technical foul) were incorrect, Scott also owes Miller the unheard of $25,000 Miller was fined for simply calling the Pac-12 out–correctly, I might add–on its crap.
That’s not all, as Scott must explain what else in God’s name is going on–something tells me the Rush Debacle of 2013 only brushes the surface of additional wrongdoing Scott would rather have swept under the rug immediately. Scott’s good-ol’-boy defense of Eddie boy stunk up the nation and embarrassed the Pac-12 beyond repair. His support was inexplicable, awkward and disturbing for the head of a major college conference.
Let me ask: how many other Pac-12 officials, coaches and other leaders of the conference did you see come running to Rush’s aid (in contrast, how many offered Miller their unconditional support)? Who other than Scott did you see claim that Rush’s comments were nothing more than an inside joke that deserve nothing more than a shrug of the shoulders and a slap on the wrist (in contrast, how many anonymous officials stated they were at the meeting and that Rush was far from joking)? What about the ref who actually T’ed up Miller–why haven’t we heard Michael Irving come out publicly and clarify that he did not take Rush’s comments seriously (where is he right now anyway, Cancun)? Don’t you think more people would have spoken up if this was one big misunderstanding? If this was nothing more than a circus, Why would non-conference coaches go so far as to state they would not schedule any more Pac-12 games so long as Rush was still in charge?
All I know is that in one corner of this disaster we had Rush and Scott. In the other corner–everyone else. In the Scott/Rush corner, one has been knocked out of contention, but the other–the leader of the entire Pac-12 Conference–still remains.