Reprimands happen: Public action against Sean Miller also occurred with Lute Olsonby Javier Morales on Mar. 17, 2013, under Sports
The Pac-12 announced Sunday it has reprimanded and fined Arizona coach Sean Miller $25,000 for incidents after the Wildcats’ 66-64 loss to UCLA in the semifinals of the Pac-12 tournament.
Miller allegedly confronted a game official on the floor at the MGM Grand Garden Arena immediately after the game. He also allegedly confronted a conference staff member in the hallway of the arena.
Miller was angered by a call made by referee Michael Reed, who whistled UA guard Mark Lyons for a double-dribble violation with 4:37 remaining in the game. A ref away from the play, Michael Irving, whistled Miller for a technical foul after Miller claimed that UCLA guard Jordan Adams touched the ball, forcing Lyons to drop it.
“The conference has a formal system of evaluation and feedback in place for coaches to express concern about officiating,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott stated in a press release. ”Coaches play a significant role in the overall officiating program and are expected to address concerns through the structure provided.
“Threatening, intimidating and unprofessional conduct will not be tolerated.”
Pac-12 officials are graded on game performance. Future assignments are based on this grading structure as well as coach feedback, the conference explained in its release. The Pac-12 stated in its release that it has warned Miller about inappropriate postgame conduct toward officials.
“Even in tense and trying moments following a game, we expect Pac-12 coaches to conduct themselves in a professional manner,” Scott stated in the release. “Our coaches represent their teams, their universities and our conference. We expect them to set an example for our student athletes and to meet the highest standard of sportsmanship and behavior on and off the court.”
This is the first time Miller, 44, has been reprimanded by a conference. He is in his fourth season at Arizona after coaching Xavier for five seasons.
Reprimands do not always carry a fine. They could lead to suspensions if issues persist.
Lute Olson was reprimanded by the Pac-10 when he coached at Arizona, but he was never suspended. He feared he would when he criticized the conference for selecting only nine players instead of 10 to its all-conference team in 2007. The conference, citing that voting was too close to name a 10th player, did not take action against Olson.
A former coach at Iowa, Olson was also reprimanded by the Big Ten at least three times.
In a 1982 game, lost by Iowa at Purdue 66-65, Olson told reporters about the officiating: “It is an absolute disgrace for people to steal basketball games.”
Iowa’s Kevin Boyle was whistled for a foul when players attempted to grab a rebound on a last-second miss. Purdue’s Dan Palombizio made a free throw with no time showing to give the Boilermakers the victory. Referee James Bain, a 14-year official at the time, called the foul, drawing Olson’s ire.
“This game can be chalked up to Jim Bain and his crew,” Olson said.
Olson was also reprimanded by the Big Ten for trying to listen in on a heated conversation between former Indiana coach Bobby Knight and referee Earl Fouty at halftime. Fouty threatened Olson with a technical if he did not leave. Olson eventually left but was later reprimanded by the Big Ten.
He was first reprimanded in 1978 for criticizing the referees in a one-point loss at Michigan State.
It did not take long for Olson to be reprimanded by the Pac-10. That reportedly happened in his first season in the conference in 1983-84 when he publicly criticized the officiating in a loss at Oregon State.
After reviewing film of the game, Olson said, “I’m more upset now than I was then. It was one of the worst officiating jobs I’ve seen. Just disgusting.”
Olson added, “I think we have some officials in this league as good as any in the country. But I think we have some real weak ones, too, that need to be weeded out.”
Nobody will discuss what was said by Miller when he approached Irving on the floor after the game Friday, and when his path crossed that of a Pac-12 staffer in the MGM Grand Garden Arena hallway.
But saying repeatedly, “He touched the ball. … He touched the ball … He touched the ball”, in reference to Adams’ defensive play on Lyons’ drive to the basket, is tame compared to what Olson and other coaches have said about officials in post-game press conferences.
Read more about the Wildcats at WILDABOUTAZCATS.net. Site publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner