Baylor AD Mack Rhoades fined $25K for officiating comments


The Big 12 on Tuesday has announced a $25,000 fine for Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades, who called the officiating in his team’s home win over Iowa State on Saturday “an embarrassment for this league.”

Rhoades was also given a public reprimand in accordance to Big 12 sportsmanship policies.

Baylor coach Scott Drew was ejected for the first time in his career after he received a pair of technical fouls for standing outside the coaching box during Saturday’s victory. The Bears bench was assessed another technical foul soon after he had left the game.

Drew said he wasn’t given an explanation for the ejection.

Rhoades spoke after Drew following the game and said that the officiating was subpar.

“I’m not somebody that calls the officials or calls the league after every game,” Rhoades told reporters. “In fact, I never call when it comes to officiating. It’s always about, ‘We need to play better, we need to execute better, we need to play tougher,’ all of those things. But tonight was an embarrassment for this league. We have the best basketball league in the country, and the officiating tonight did not match it. Period. End of story.”

The NCAA has made a point of acknowledging the coaching box rules. In 2017, the box was extended and this year, a memo in the rulebook reiterated that “additional focus/attention should be given to the consistent enforcement of bench decorum, the coaching box and unsporting conduct rules for both players and bench personnel.” But an ejection for violating the coaching box rules is rare.

“This league needs to get better when we think about our officiating,” Rhoades said Saturday. “And we have some great, great officials. But this particular crew tonight did not match the level of this game. And that shouldn’t happen in this league. I’m going to fight for our program. I’m going to fight for our school. I’m going to fight for our coaches. We’re going to fight for our student-athletes. I’ll be on the phone [Sunday].”

Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark, who was at the game, said in a statement Tuesday that it is vital for senior administration officials, especially ADs, to explicitly adhere to policies governing officiating matters.

“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,” Yormark said. “On this occasion, the required discipline was not exercised.”

Last month, the Big 12 fined UCF $25,000 after its fans stormed the court following a home win over Kansas.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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