Playing the Field: With Mike Rice, Ed Rush, Lakers – follow the money

Mike Rice. Officials. Abuse. Greed. Money. A celebration of basketball!
Mike Rice. Officials. Abuse. Greed. Money. A celebration of basketball!

With the Final Four taking place in Atlanta in just a few days, one would think that the sport of basketball is being celebrated. Quite the contrary.

Money grabs and shady dealings are all the rage this week when it comes to hoop talk.

WFAN sports radio reported this morning that Erick Murdoch (the guy with all the dirt on now-fired Rutgers head coach Mike Rice) tried to blackmail Rutgers for $1 million to not release the tapes of Rice abusing his players and that Rutgers may have countered with a $200,000 offer at some point.

You think this type of behavior could land Rutgers in some hot water with the NCAA? If they even engaged in those type of talks it’s a guarantee that Rutgers basketball won’t see the NCAA tournament until about 2078 (lame joke alert: the same would have been true even without this Mike Rice stuff).

Elsewhere in “Basketball & Benjamin Franklins” drama, we had the Pac-12’s referee boss Ed Rush “joking” around with his officials that if they gave Arizona head coach Sean Miller a technical in the Pac-12 tournament, he would give them $5,000 or a free trip to Cancun. Of course, there was a controversial technical foul given to Miller in the Pac-12 tournament (one that made Miller a SportsCenter star for a day due to his postgame press conference tirade about the call) … nothing to see here! Still, Pac-12 commish Larry Scott believes that Rush is doing a fine job and that he did nothing to warrant a firing.

Finally, we turn to the pros where the Los Angeles Lakers (the NBA’s marquee franchise and biggest money maker) are battling out West for the eighth and final playoff spot in the conference. There is a strange trend happening in which the Lakers are getting most EVERY call from the stripes down the stretch, so much so that someone was kind enough to make the following, brilliant YouTube video about it.

Take it sleazy!



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