An Open Letter to Larry Scott regarding Pac-12 Officiating


March 15, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Arizona Wildcats head coach Sean Miller (left) reacts as NCAA official Michael Irving (right) calls a technical foul on Miller during the second half in the semifinal round of the Pac 12 tournament against the UCLA Bruins at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. UCLA defeated Arizona 66-64. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY SportsDear Mr. Scott,

So, let me get this straight:

1. The Pac-12 officials’ coordinator Ed Rush–in “jest” or not in jest (it doesn’t make a difference to me whether he meant it or not)–makes extremely inappropriate comments (that would be plural, meaning more than one) about rewarding officials if they kick coach Sean Miller out of the game or give him a technical foul right before Arizona’s crucial matchup against the UCLA Bruins in the semi-finals of the Pac-12 Tournament. A game, I remind you, that could have given Arizona a better seed in the tournament and the potential of facing Ohio State in the elite eight instead of the sweet 16.

2. During Arizona’s game against UCLA and in the final minutes of a very close game, Sean Miller DOES in fact get a technical foul by one of Ed Rush’s fellow officials for simply pointing out to the official–without the use of any profanity–that he is wrong for calling a double dribble on Mark Lyons (replays would show that the officials very much were wrong). Arizona loses the game by two points, or in other words, the same amount of points the officials handed the Bruins on a silver platter.

3. Following the game, coach Miller criticizes the officials for jobbing him, which the facts would later reveal to be nothing more than a true criticism.

4. With your ultimate authority as the head of the entire conference, you say, “hey Eddie, you jokester you, will you cut that out already?” slap him on the wrist and send him back into the meeting room to continue coordinating officials for the Pac-12? Then, you turn around to coach Miller and say, “that will be enough of that out of you! Here’s your $25,000 bill for making those extremely inappropriate comments.”

Mr. Scott, I must admit, I am a bit confused. After all, whose comments were more inappropriate? Whose comments more likely than not has completely jeopardized the integrity of the game–not just now, but from now on in a conference where the lack of accountability for its officials is already seriously questioned? Are you yet aware that the Pac-12 has the worst officiating in the country?

Whether you like it or not, leaving Mr. Rush on the staff will have fans, players and coaches questioning the candor of every bad call from here on out. I wonder how much money Mr. Rush is giving him for that call. I bet he’s off on a flight to Cancun tomorrow, courtesy of good ol’ Eddie.

Do you really want the class clown running your officiating crew? As the leader of this conference, I suggest you take a page out of Mr. Roger Goodell’s playbook and see how he handled players and coaches–in “jest” or not in jest (it didn’t make any difference to Mr. Goodell whether they meant it or not)–when they made extremely inappropriate comments about rewarding misconduct on the playing field. Love or hate, Mr. Goodell is the best commissioner in the world because he–pardon my french–does not put up with the slightest ounce of crap if it has even the most remote chance of endangering the law and honesty of his sport.

Mr. Scott, many are looking up to you to see how you will handle this situation, if you will do the right thing to uphold the integrity of your conference. Many–including myself–have had the utmost respect for you until this point, and your decision-making with regards to Mr. Rush could dramatically influence that respect.

The bottom line: Mr. Rush no longer has a place in the Pac-12 equation. Period.

Unlike Mr. Rush–the conference comedian over there–I am not joking.