“I was trying to make a difference. In the long run, it’s going to take too long to get back to where we were.”
That was the reason Rush resigned and I get that. Beyond that he doesn’t say much in his exclusive frump-off with Shelly Smith. Seriously they look like twins.
In the interview, Rush downplays the entire incident, confirming that what he said was in jest. Additionally, he doesn’t once mention the purveyor of jest, Michael Irving, which I found refreshing considering he’d previously been tossing the official under the bus immediately following his resignation.
As expected, there’s really not a ton to see here but you can watch/listen below.
So while Rush’s interview was the sexy news (and yes, I use the word “sexy” in jest, though it was the more intriguing news) the real news came in the conference’s announcement of an “Independent Review” of the officiating program. This is what I’d been calling for and it’s a step in the right direction. Rush nailed it when he said we’re a long way from getting to a good place – we’ll call it trust – but third parties tend to help in that. Ask any couple in counseling.
And I most certainly appreciated this release above all others from Walnut Creek surrounding The Issue. In this one, the Pac-12 PR team used words like “best possible” and “maintain the confidence of our members.” The latter comment might be my favorite. An acknowledgment that Conference brass let its constituents down. That’s leadership.
Of course this is all pretty language of which action speaks far louder than. But it’s the first action in getting the best officiating product for our favorite game. I’ll buy that during this long road back to trust.