Less than four hours after Arizona Wildcats coach Sean Miller said “We’ve moved on” from the tempest of the technical foul late in the UCLA game, the Pac-12 got in the final word.
The conference delivered a public reprimand to Miller Sunday night and threw in a $25,000 fine for emphasis, citing two postgame incidents as its reasons.
Neither of those were for Miller’s postgame “He touched the ball” news conference, but for confronting a game official on the floor after the buzzer and acting inappropriately toward a conference staff member in the hallway of the arena.
The conference also reported that Miller had previously been warned about his postgame conduct with officials. (You can read the full release below.)
As the news of the fine spread, former Arizona All-American Derrick Williams (after a career-high 28-point performance for the Minnesota Timberwolves, by the way) tweeted:
“Anybody else want to pitch in for that Terrible $25k fine that Coach Miller got ? Awful !”
Miller is more than capable of paying his own fines, of course, but at some point late Sunday night, someone bought the URL to millerfanfund.com, as well as hetouchedtheball.com.
Miller was asked Sunday if his fiery postgame comments might be a spark to the team.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I know this; our players, they don’t have to go very far to figure out I care a lot about them.”
We are aware of the reprimand by the PAC-12.We are now solely focused on the NCAA tournament & I’m glad Sean Miller is our coach.
— Greg Byrne (@Greg_Byrne) March 18, 2013
Here is the release from the Pac-12:
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. — The Pac-12 Conference announced today that it has reprimanded and fined University of Arizona men’s head basketball coach Sean Miller $25,000 for two post game incidents.
The two incidents occurred after Arizona’s loss to UCLA in the Pac-12 Tournament on Friday, March 15th. Immediately following the game, Coach Miller confronted a game official on the floor, and then acted inappropriately toward a staff member in the hallway of the arena.
“The Conference has a formal system of evaluation and feedback in place for coaches to express concern about officiating,” said Pac-12 Commissioner, Larry Scott. “Coaches play a significant role in the overall officiating program and are expected to address concerns through the structure provided,” he added. “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 Pac-12 previously warned Coach Miller about inappropriate, post game conduct toward officials.
“Even in tense and trying moments following a game, we expect Pac-12 coaches to conduct themselves in a professional manner,” said Commissioner Scott. “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.”