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National reaction to the story of Ed Rush ‘targeting’ Arizona coach Sean Miller

Sean Miller

Sean Miller nearly removed his jacket after he was called for a technical foul against UCLA. Photo by Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Ed Rush-Sean Miller story, broken Monday afternoon by Jeff Goodman at CBSSports.com, is making the national rounds this morning, with the consensus being what I wrote last night — Rush must go.

Here is a sampling of what others across the nation are saying about Rush’s supposed bounty on Miller at the Pac-12 tournament:

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Former college basketball head coach Seth Greenberg talked about the Rush incident on ESPN’s SportsCenter this morning. He is a partial transcript of his comments, starting with finding fault about the concept of targeting a certain coach:

“First of all, from game to game, you’re supposed to have a clean slate. If you’re have a problem with a coach, before the game you address it with the coach and you have a clean slate and you move on,” Greenberg said.

“They put a bounty on Sean Miller. Plain and simple. If it’s brought up in a pregame meeting with officials, you’re sending a message — whether it is a subliminal message or a hard, true message. … To me, it’s appalling.”

Greenberg said he has talked to Miller about the incident as a friend.

“To me, what created that scenario was the message that was sent in the pregame meeting — ‘You know what, we have our chance now,’” Greenberg said.

“Larry Scott is a terrific commissioner … but they blew it. They kicked the call,” Greenberg added about the Pac-12 response. “They have to let (Rush) go.”

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Andy Glocker of SI.com wrote:

“The Pac-12 simply cannot have this. Larry Scott cannot enable this. He’s too savvy a businessman to believe he can brush this under the rug and have Pac-12 basketball operate under a cloud of suspicion. Rush may very well have been joking, but the impact of his words, both on the referees who report to him and to the fans who watch his league, is anything but a joke. The only joke would be if the league does nothing about this.”

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Vince Grippi of the Spokane Spokesman-Review chipped in with this:

“If Rush, even in jest, offered a reward for a technical on Miller as a way to teach the conference’s coaches a lesson in bench decorum (and no is denying he did), then Scott and the Pac-12 have a problem. A very long time ago a college athletic administrator told me perception is more important than reality in college athletics and he was right – in a lot of different ways. The important one here is simply. The appearance of fairness is gone. The perception will always be the Pac-12 is out to get Miller – “hey, they offered a bounty on him!” – or, if a call goes UA’s way, that the conference knows it screwed up and is trying to make amends. There is only one way to fix this. And it is the right thing to do. Rush’s contract cannot be renewed (according to Goodman, he works on a one-year agreement).”

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Patrick Rishe, a contributor at Forbes.com wrote:

“In this case, the right thing is to hold a press conference this week, admonish Ed Rush publicly, and then either levy a substantial fine ($100,000), a one-year suspension, and/or simply fire Mr. Rush.

“Mr. Rush may indeed have intended to simply make an off-hand innocuous jab at Sean Miller. But because the story has become public, and because of the sports environment we live in today which has been shaped in recent years by dishonesty in sports including a prominent cheating scandal in the NBA, the last thing the newly formed Pac-12 needs is a Tim Donaghy-sized black eye.”

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The Dallas Morning News revives the quote about Rush from Mavericks owner Mark Cuban in 2002:

“Ed Rush might have been a great ref, but I wouldn’t hire him to manage a Dairy Queen. His interest is not in the integrity of the game or improving the officiating.”

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Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com had this to say:

“It doesn’t really matter whether Rush was serious or joking when he said what he said. All that matters is that he said what he said, and that college basketball fans now know he said what he said. Consequently, that’s the scope through which everything will be viewed going forward, and it’s precisely why it’s ridiculous for the Pac-12 to go forward with Rush.

“The league is just begging for problems.

“Why do that?”

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