It’s not over until an independent review says it is.
The Pac-12 announced Tuesday afternoon that it will commission an independent review of the circumstances surrounding “all of the officiating and coaching events during and following the recent Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament.”
Those events have already resulted in the resignation of Ed Rush, the league’s coordinator of men’s basketball officials.
The issue now is the same as it was after Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com first reported that the league was investigating Rush for comments he made to officials about “targeting” Arizona Wildcats coach Sean Miller.
And that issue is trust.
The coaches, the fans, the players, need to have reasonable trust in a level playing field when it comes to officiating.
“Nothing is more important to the Pac-12, or to me personally, than maintaining confidence in our integrity,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement.
Here is the complete statement from the conference:
Walnut Creek, Calif. – Pac-12 CEO Group Chair Edward J. Ray and Commissioner Larry Scott have decided to commission an independent review of the officiating dispute that arose during the recent Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament, the Conference announced today.
The independent review will examine all of the officiating and coaching events during and following the recent Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
In addition, Ray and Scott expect that the review will contribute to a broader examination of the officiating program. The review will report directly to the Executive Committee of the Conference’s CEO Group governing board.
“After considering the matter, Commissioner Scott and I agree that an independent review is important to maintain the confidence of our members, and of the public, in the integrity of our competition,” President Ray said.
“While the review will focus primarily on the tournament, we expect that it will inform a broader examination of our men’s basketball officiating and help us provide the best possible program.”
Commenting on the independent review, Commissioner Scott said: “Nothing is more important to the Pac-12, or to me personally, than maintaining confidence in our integrity. Given the conflicting media reports, it is important that we do whatever we can to understand all the facts, not only to resolve the questions about officiating during the tournament but also to learn lessons that will help us make changes and improvements to our overall program.”
Experts who are entirely independent of the Pac-12 Conference will conduct the review. The Executive Committee will select the experts and establish a timetable for the review shortly. It is expected to be completed in time for the CEO Group’s June meeting.