The PBA has fined 17-time PBA Tour champion Sean Rash “an undisclosed amount,” suspended him from one national PBA Tour event in February, and placed him on a one-year probation for “conduct unbecoming of a professional” in response to comments Rash made in the final moments of the PBA Players Championship Midwest Region Finals championship match Sunday on FS1. The announcement was made during the PBA Players Championships West Region Finals telecast, also on FS1, on Monday night.
Rash, believing he had lost the match to lefthander Matt Russo, said, “Integrity one day” as he wrapped up his 10th frame, then added, “Yeah, I said it. I don’t give a [expletive].” After a 10th-frame collapse by Russo in which he left the 2-4-6-7-10 and covered only the 4 pin on the spare shot to lose, 207-201, Rash said as he picked up his trophy, “Well, that one cost me a few bucks, but I don’t care.”
After the PBA’s actions were announced, PBA color analyst Randy Pedersen attributed Rash’s comments to the veteran player’s disapproval of the use of urethane equipment in PBA Tour events.
“He’s always had an issue with urethane bowling balls,” Pedersen said. “He feels they shouldn’t be used out here.”
PBA Play-by-Play man Rob Stone, who pointed out that the use of urethane in PBA Tour events is perfectly legal, characterized Rash’s comments as “calling into question the legitimacy of the tour,” while Pedersen said of the penalties the PBA had imposed on Rash for his actions, “I’m not sure it’s harsh enough … He was trying to insinuate something that was pretty serious.”
Per PBA Tour Commissioner Tom Clark, Rash’s suspension applies to the David Small’s Best of the Best Championship event to be held Feb. 7-9 at Jax60 in Jackson, Michigan.