Is the Ed Rush bribery story all that surprising?
Spare me the shock and outrage from the Ed Rush story. It screams of ignorance and naivety. In case you haven’t heard, Pac-12 coordinator of officials Ed Rush is involved in a bit of a scandal. He allegedly told officials to “ring up” Arizona coach Sean Miller in exchange for $5,000 or a trip to Cancun.
Miller was later given a controversial technical during the Pac-12 tournament. His first of the season. Miller went on an epic rant in the post-game press conference. “The reason I got the technical foul is because I said, ‘He touched the ball. He touched the ball. He touched the ball. He touched the ball. He touched the ball.”
The whole situation smelled fishy but most chalked it up to Miller being whiny. Yesterday, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott responded to the bribery allegations.
“Based on the review, 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 told CBSSports.com.
Folks, that’s the equivalent of someone spitting in your face. It’s an insult to your intelligence. Every member of the Pac-12 should be ashamed that Larry Scott represents them. Rush was carrying out a grudge, he had it in for Sean Miller and was willing to sacrifice his integrity to get revenge.
It’s not the first time a ref has done it—not the first time Ed Rush has done it.
He was head of NBA officiating from 1998-2003. During that time, games were regularly swayed by crooked refs, most notably Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals. That one was the nadir. The Lakers shot 27 free throws in the fourth quarter to ensure a game 7 matchup. At the end of that game, Kobe Bryant delivered one of the nastiest elbows in NBA history on Mike Bibby. It occurred about 8 feet away from the ref.
He ignored it. Much like we ignore the idea of an honest ref.