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Pac-12 reprimands UCLA coach Mick Cronin for criticizing refs in UNC loss

By Alex Butler

Dec. 24 (UPI) -- The Pac-12 has reprimanded UCLA men's basketball head coach Mick Cronin after he criticized the officiating following the Bruins' loss to North Carolina last weekend.

The conference announced the reprimand Monday.

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"The Pac-12 membership has established rules that prohibit our coaches from publicly commenting about officiating," Commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement. "We have an obligation to our members to enforce approved conference rules.

"As a part of our officiating program, there is a protocol in place for our coaches to provide feedback directly to the coordinator of officials."

Cronin called out the referees for missing fouls on North Carolina during UCLA's 74-64 loss Saturday at the CBS Sports Classic in Las Vegas.

"The officials took the first half off," Cronin told reporters. "The game was officiated two separate halves. All you got to do is look at the fouls per half."

The Bruins were called for a total of 25 fouls while the Tar Heels were whistled for 20.

UCLA hired Cronin from Cincinnati in April to replace fired head coach Steve Alford. The former Bearcats coach left after 13 seasons in Cincinnati. He posted a 28-7 record with the Bearcats last season and is in the first year of a six-year, $24 million contract at UCLA.

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The Bruins (7-5) next host Cal State Fullerton (3-10) at 5 p.m. EST Saturday.

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