Marcio Jose Sanchez The Associated Press Bobby Dibler was named the officiating coordinator of the Pacific-12 and Mountain West conferences in June. Pac-12 officiating came under fire during last season's conference tournament.

Pac-12 officials will be held to high standard

Published: Friday, Oct. 18, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 8C

SAN FRANCISCO – As the Pacific-12 Conference begins its overhauled men's basketball officiating program, each official will receive an update at some point during the course of the season on how he or she is grading out from a team of evaluators appointed to critique every call made and those that aren't.

"To get the best officials at the end of the day when it comes to the tournaments at the end of the year, there's nothing wrong with it," Oregon guard Johnathan Lloyd said.

New Pac-12 and Mountain West officiating coordinator Bobby Dibler was hired in June as the conferences formed an alliance in the wake of the Pac-12's officiating coming under scrutiny during the conference tournament in March in Las Vegas. Former officiating coordinator Ed Rush had offered bounties – $5,000 or a trip to Mexico – for any official who disciplined Arizona coach Sean Miller. While Rush has said he wasn't serious and was "jokingly" trying to "lighten the mood" in the locker room, he resigned April 4.

Dibler is ready for everyone to move on and make progress. He called each of the Pac-12 coaches after his hiring over the summer and has met with others in person.

"I'm a guy who lives his life going forward," Dibler said Thursday at the Pac-12 media day.

Dibler has formed a three-person leadership team of veteran officials Brian Shelley, Mark Reischling and Donnie Nunez to focus their efforts on evaluating, training and technology. Officials will be evaluated again at the end of the season.

"With few exceptions we will be evaluating every call made in the Pac-12 this year as a correct call, a call incorrect, a no-call correct and a no-call incorrect," Dibler said. "What we're trying to do here is help our officials get better. We're looking at any trends that we may have as it pertains to the staff, we're looking for any trends we have that pertain to a particular official. They all want to improve, they all want to be held accountable."

That's something the coaches like to hear.

"Accountability in anything that you do is very important. That accountability is definitely going to be there with Mr. Dibler coming in," Washington's Lorenzo Romar said. "I speak on behalf of all the coaches in the conference that we have all the confidence in the world that they're going to do a good job."

In the Pac-12 preseason media poll, Arizona was picked to win the conference. The Wildcats received 21 first-place votes, followed by UCLA and Colorado, both of which garnered one first-place vote.

Arizona finished 27-8 last season and advanced to the NCAA Tournament round of 16 before losing to Ohio State, and fifth-year coach Miller has several experienced players returning this year.

Rounding out the order were defending Pac-12 tournament champion Oregon at fourth followed by Cal, Stanford, Arizona State, Washington, Utah, Oregon State, USC and Washington State.

Oregon State coach Craig Robinson, the brother of first lady Michelle Obama, good-naturedly responded when the end to the government shutdown came up Thursday morning.

"You see what I have to put up with?" he said, chuckling. "I didn't have anything to do with getting them to come together as a team, by the way."

Louisville – Starting power forward Chane Behanan has been suspended indefinitely by the university for violating school policy.

Coach Rick Pitino didn't specify what the violation was but said Behanan violated a team rule.

The coach said the 6-foot-6, 250-pound Behanan, who played a key role in the Cardinals' NCAA championship run last season, could possibly return in December. Pitino added that right now, however, he's "more interested in Chane the man than Chane the basketball player."

Marquette – Junior forward Jameel McKay has left the program. McKay was in his first season with the Golden Eagles after two years at Indian Hills Community College.

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