March 19, 2013
In the aftermath of Arizona's Pac-12 tournament semifinal loss to UCLA on Friday night, head coach Sean Miller expressed his displeasure with a call that went against the Wildcats down the stretch.
That call was a technical foul assessed to Miller with 4:37 remaining in the game, with Miller stating that he told an official that it was a UCLA player who touched a ball that went out of bounds last.
In a game Arizona lost by two points, it can be argued that the two free throws made by UCLA's Jordan Adams proved to be the difference in the game.
While Coach Miller was passionate during the postgame press conference he was even more animated in the moments following the game. As a result he was reprimanded and fined $25,000 by the Pac-12 conference.
According to the conference, Miller not only confronted an official on the court but also "acted inappropriately toward a staff member in the hallway of the arena." The conference released the following statement on the matter Sunday night:
"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."
Arizona (25-7), the six-seed in the West region, begins NCAA tournament play on Thursday evening in Salt Lake City against 11-seed Belmont.
Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
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