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Pac-12 fines Utah athletic director Chris Hill $10,000 for rant against conference official

FILE: Dr. Chris Hill, University of Utah Athletic Director.
FILE: Dr. Chris Hill, University of Utah Athletic Director.
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

LOS ANGELES — Utah athletics director Dr. Chris Hill has been reprimanded by the Pac-12 and fined $10,000 for a profane tirade he directed at Bobby Dibler, the conference’s coordinator of men’s basketball officials, following the Utes’ 80-77 loss to Arizona State in the Huntsman Center.

Hill’s comments were overheard during Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak’s postgame press conference, coming from a room adjacent to where the media was gathered.

On Thursday, Hill issued an apology.

“I have had a few days to reflect on a heated conversation I had with an individual following our men’s basketball game against Arizona State on Sunday,” Hill said. “While my emotions were high and I thought our meeting was private, there is no excuse for the inappropriate language I used. I have apologized to the person involved, who is someone I have known for years and greatly respect. I also regret any discomfort to others as a result of my cursing. As the leader of this department, I expect more of myself and I am sincerely sorry.”

On Friday, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott announced the sanctions against Hill, citing “inappropriate language and public comments regarding men’s basketball officiating.”

Scott’s announcement also noted Hill’s subsequent acknowledgement of wrongful conduct and the public apology that was made.

“The Pac-12 membership has established conduct rules that prohibit our administrators from derogatory language, as well as publicly commenting about officiating,” Scott said. “We have an obligation to our members to enforce approved conference rules. While we appreciate Dr. Hill’s public apology, as a part of our officiating program, there is a protocol in place for our administrators to provide feedback directly to the coordinator of officials in a private and appropriate manner.”

Earlier in day, following a practice at the Galen Center in Los Angeles where the Utes face USC on Sunday, Krystkowiak didn’t have much to say about the fallout from Hill’s remarks and apology.

“I wasn’t even aware of it,” Krystkowiak said. “Yeah, I wasn’t aware of it. I don’t follow any of the media stuff to know what was taking place. So, yeah, it’s news to me.”

Hill has been Utah’s athletics director since 1987. He added the title of special assistant to the university president in 1998 and also became a member of the institution’s senior administrative cabinet at that time.