Pac-12 CEO group takes no action after hearing officiating report

2013-06-02T15:04:00Z 2013-06-03T12:31:24Z Pac-12 CEO group takes no action after hearing officiating reportBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
June 02, 2013 3:04 pm  • 

The Pac-12's CEO Group opted today not to take further action on the basketball officiating controversy after reviewing an outside report today.

The Indiana firm Ice Miller LLP reviewed the circumstances regarding the Pac-12 Tournament that involved Arizona Wildcats coach Sean Miller and former Pac-12 officials coordinator Ed Rush.

Miller was fined $25,000 for his postgame actions on March 15 while Rush resigned four days after the Pac-12 said he improperly tried to prod officials into more closely monitoring Miller and other Pac-12 coaches.

The report found the fine for Miller was "within the commissioner's authority and reasonable," and it will stick.

 “The Pac-12 CEO Group fully reviewed and discussed the Ice Miller report and agreed that is was an objective analysis of all known facts surrounding the officiating dispute at this year’s Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament," said Oregon State president Ed Ray, the chair of the CEO Group (composed of school presidents). "The CEO Group accepted the report, agreed there is no further action required, and determined that this independent review brings closure to the matter.”

Arizona president Ann Weaver Hart, who is part of the CEO Group, said in a statement that she was pleased the report "will result in positive change to the Pac-12’s oversight of its officiating program."

"The Conference’s commitment to maintain integrity and improve the quality of officiating was important to the executive committee," Hart said. "I look forward to seeing major changes in the way in which the Pac-12 organizes and oversees basketball officiating.”

Arizona AD Greg Byrne declined to comment but issued a brief statement through UA.

"Coach Miller and I have discussed the report, and we are ready to move forward," Byrne's statement said. "We remain hopeful this report will lead to improvements in our officiating program."

The report said the diversity of reported recollections about the events following Arizona's quarterfinal win over Colorado, and before Arizona's semifinal loss to UCLA, prevented a a "singularly reliable understanding" of the events.

However, it found:

-- Rush offered cash or vacations to officials who more assertively enforced bench decorum guidelines but did not intend for them to be taken literally. It also found that officials present at meetings after the Arizona-Colorado game and before the Arizona-UCLA game understood Rush's statements as a point of emphasis on Rush's seriousness about enforcing bench decorum.

-- The report said officials never believed they would receive an award for assessing a technical foul against Miller (who received one late in the UCLA game).

-- Even though Rush's statements were not meant literally they were "inappropriate."

-- Miller used profane language multiple times after the Wildcats' loss to UCLA, calling it a "cheating (expletive) conference" in front of a conference staffer, and that the league considered fine amounts for that incident and his postgame confrontation between $10,000 and $50,000.  Miller ultimately was fined $25,000.

The full report can be found here.

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