Walnut Creek, CA (Sports Network) - Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said director of officials Ed Rush made comments in jest when he said he would offer incentives for referees to give a technical foul or eject Arizona men's basketball coach Sean Miller from a conference tournament game.
CBSSports.com had reported that Rush told officials during meetings before the Pac-12 Tournament that an extra $5,000 or a trip to Cancun would be the reward for calling a technical foul or ejecting Miller.
Scott said the league conducted an investigation into the allegations and determined that the comments were made in a joking manner.
"I can confirm that following the Pac-12 men's basketball tournament, we received a complaint that Pac-12 coordinator of officials Ed Rush offered game officials inappropriate incentives for being stricter with Pac-12 coaches," Commissioner Scott said late Monday.
"I consider the integrity of our officiating program to be of the highest importance and immediately ordered a review of the matter. 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. Following our review, we have discussed the matter with Rush, taken steps to ensure it does not happen again, and communicated our findings to all of our officials."
Miller was hit with a controversial technical foul late in a loss to UCLA in the conference semifinals after arguing over a double-dribble call against Arizona's Mark Lyons. The Wildcats went on to drop a 66-64 decision.
In the postgame press conference, Miller said he never cursed at the officials and said he didn't berate them. He also said it was his first technical foul of the season.
Rush, a former NBA official, has served as a consultant to the Pac-12 men's basketball officiating program since 2007 and was named the coordinator of officials in May 2012.