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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Pac-12 coordinator of officials Ed Rush resigns following Sean Miller controversy

04.05.13 at 8:03 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Blue Jays, 7 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Yankees at Tigers, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cardinals at Giants, 4:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cubs at Braves, 7:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Cavaliers at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-AM)
NBA: Heat at Bobcats, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Rockets at Trail Blazers. 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Rangers at Penguins, 7 p.m. (NHL Network)
NHL: Flames at Sharks, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

♦ Pac-12 coordinator of officials Ed Rush resigned Thursday, following the controversy over his offering a bribe — jokingly, he insists — to a referee who would give a technical foul to Arizona coach Sean Miller during last month’s Pac-12 tournament.

While he still insists he comments were “absolutely, 100 percent said in jest,” Rush, a former longtime NBA referee, acknowledged that it was not the time nor place for such remarks.

ESPN reports that a number of Pac-12 officials were unhappy with Rush’s leadership and were prepared to rebel against him had he remained. One referee said that Rush bullied his charges and another insisted that Rush was not joking about the Miller situation.

“Ed Rush doesn’t joke,” the official said. “To say it was a joke is absolutely not true. If he meant it in jest, then he had time to correct it the second day and he didn’t. And the only coach he mentioned was Sean Miller.”

♦ Former Ravens special teamer Brendon Ayanbadejo sent mixed signals this week, first implying that he was cut by Baltimore in part because he’s been so outspoken about his support for gay rights and same-sex marriage, then insisting the Ravens “had my back all year” and did not let his views factor into the decision.

“My bark is louder than my bite,” Ayanbadejo told Newsday. “I can make a lot of noise and garner a lot of attention for various things off the football field. When that starts happening, why do you have that player around? … I don’t necessarily think that teams want this type of attention.”

After the story came out, Ayanbadejo claimed that it was a “total misquote.”

Tweeted the 10-year NFL veteran: [Team president] Dick Cass and the @ravens had my back all year. Why would I say I was cut cuz my views? Makes no sense.

The Ravens followed up the report with a denial.

“We’re surprised that he would indicate this. We have always been respectful of Brendon’s opinions and his right to express those,” Ravens senior vice president for public and community relations Kevin Byrne said. “Our decision regarding his departure from the team has everything to do with football. Nothing else.”

♦ Heat forward Shane Battier weighed in on the discussion about women’s basketball star Brittney Griner and her chances of making the NBA. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said earlier in the week that he would consider drafting the Baylor star, while UConn women’s coach Geno Auriemma scoffed at the possibility of Griner making an NBA roster, calling it “absolutely ludicrous.”

Battier said he expects a woman to break into the league sooner or later.

“There’s no doubt that in our lifetime, there will be a woman NBA player,” Battier told ESPN.com Thursday. “I don’t know if it’s Griner or if it’s someone who is 5 years old right now. But we’ll see it. It’ll happen in our lifetime. Just the law of averages.”

Added Battier: “I don’t think it would be out of the realm of possibility that [one day] we’ll see a female LeBron [James]. You could be the most skilled player in the world that the women’s game has ever seen, but that won’t cut it in the NBA. She’d have to be a physical specimen.”

♦ When the Penguins acquired Brenden Morrow, teammate Tanner Glass switched from No. 10 to 15 so Morrow could have 10. If that wasn’t gracious enough, Glass then reached out to fans who own Glass jerseys.

Tweeted Glass: ANy #Pens fans with “GLASS 10″ jerseys that want to switch to “15″- Head to Consol PensGear and I’ll pay for the the switch. First 15 are on me!

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 5, 1971, the Cardinals returned to the Red Sox which Rule 5 draft pick who would go on to a stellar major league career (most of it with the Brewers)?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I told them I’ve got to get better. I felt bad for them that they have to play with me. I’ve got to get better, that’s for sure.” Jaromir Jagr, after scoring the game’s only goal in his Bruins debut Thursday night against the Devils

STAT OF THE DAY: 69 – Saves for Yankees closer Mariano Rivera in games won by Andy Petitte, a major league record for teammates, following Thursday night’s 4-2 victory over the Red Sox

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Manny Ramirez hits his first home run for the EDA Rhinos of the Chinese Professional League. His team, however, lost to the Uni-President Lions, 10-7.

Injured Louisville guard Kevin Ware appears on David Letterman‘s show to reveal the top 10 things that were going through his mind when his leg shattered in Sunday’s win over Duke. No. 1 is” “At least my bracket’s not busted.”

Lithuanian hockey player Danielius Nomanovas throws his stick in frustration after a 3-2 loss to Great Britain at the U-18 World Championships in Estonia and nails a referee.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Cecil Cooper

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Agnetha Faltskog of ABBA was born on this day in 1950.

Read More: Brenden Morrow, Brendon Ayanbadejo, Brittney Griner, Ed Rush Print  |  Email  |  Bark It Up!  |  Digg It