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USC REPORT

Bibby Gets Reprimand, Probation

January 29, 2003|Paul Gutierrez | Times Staff Writer

USC Coach Henry Bibby was mad as heck during the Trojans' Bay Area trip last weekend and he wasn't going to take it anymore, blasting Pacific 10 Conference referees after being swept by California and Stanford.

Bibby's scathing comments led to his being publicly reprimanded and put on probation for the rest of the season Tuesday by Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen. Bibby put on a slightly different, if not quite contrite, face after practice.

"I've been on probation the last 20 years, OK?" Bibby said with a smile. "I have no comment on it. Everybody wants me to shut up so I shut up, OK?"

When asked if he was taken aback by the conference's actions, Bibby shrugged.

"Nothing surprises me, OK? I'm just going about my business and coaching basketball," he said. "That's what I'm going to do.

"I don't know what probation means. Nobody has told me what it means. I haven't seen anything so I don't know what to say."

Hansen acknowledged that the probation was nebulous.

"[Bibby] is on notice to be even more careful than he normally would be," Hansen said from the Pac-10's Walnut Creek headquarters. "He has been told that his status is particularly sensitive having violated a conference rule regarding public comments about officiating. He has to be very careful not to do it again."

And if Bibby does?

"The rules of the conference make available to the commissioner" the possibility of handing down a suspension from coaching, among other actions, Hansen said. "It's pretty open-ended."

Bibby's wondering aloud if the officiating was fair during the Bay Area trip -- when Cal attempted nine free throws to USC's one in the final six-plus minutes and Stanford went to the free-throw line 34 times compared to the USC's 12 -- was not the first time he has complained.

He made similar comments after the Trojans shot six free throws to Arizona's 18 in the Wildcats' comeback win at the Sports Arena on Jan. 16.

*

Sophomore power forward Nick Curtis (sore right heel) sat out his second consecutive practice Tuesday and remains questionable to play Thursday against Oregon State.

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