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Big 12 Issues Hefty Fine To Member AD For Criticizing Basketball Referees

Feb 6, 2024, 12:40 PM

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Big 12 Conference fined Baylor AD Mack Rhoades for criticizing basketball referees. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Big 12 Conference has fined Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades days after his critical comments of league referees following Saturday’s Baylor-Iowa State game.

Total cost of being critical towards Big 12 refs? $25,000. That’s the fine levied on Rhoades, who is viewed as one of the top administrators in the Big 12.

Baylor won the highly contested matchup over Iowa State on Saturday night in Foster Pavilion, 70-68. But it was a night that marked the first-ever ejection in the career of Baylor head coach Scott Drew.

Drew was called for two technicals for being outside of the coaching box.

Baylor AD Mack Rhoades Fined $25,000 for criticizing Big 12 refs

After Drew’s press conference remarks to the media, Rhoades addressed the media and called the officiating an “embarrassment” for the Big 12. He continued, “We have the best basketball league in the country, and the officiating tonight did not match it. Period. End of story.”

The league refs for the game included Jeb Hartness, Chris Merlo, and Chance Moore.

Commissioner Brett Yormark issued a statement

On Tuesday, the Big 12 publicly announced the $25,000 fine to Rhoades. Commissioner Brett Yormark, who was in attendance for the Baylor/Iowa State game, also issued a statement on the matter.

“The Big 12 Conference members have developed policies governing officiating matters,” said Yormark in a written statement. “It is vital that senior administration officials, especially the Directors of Athletics, adhere explicitly to these policies. As the top basketball conference in the country the competitive balance in this league leads to extremely intense competition, and it can be very difficult to balance support for an institution’s teams while fully complying with the agreed upon expectations. On this occasion, the required discipline was not exercised. Mack Rhoades is one of the very best athletics administrators in thenation, and I am grateful for the manner in which he handled this process.”

Baylor is in action tonight against Texas Tech in Waco. The Bears make a return visit to Provo to face BYU later this month on February 20.

Baylor defeated BYU earlier this season on January 9 in Waco, 81-72.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and hosts the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s’ coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X: @Mitch_Harper.

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Big 12 Issues Hefty Fine To Member AD For Criticizing Basketball Referees