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Arizona Daily Star (Tucson)


UA assistant basketball coach Emanuel "Book" Richardson's was arrested in September and charged as part of the FBI's ongoing investigation into college baseball corruption. Almost immediately, Arizona Wildcats fans have wondered what role, if any, head coach Sean Miller played.

ESPN reported Friday that Miller discussed paying Deandre Ayton $100,000 to play at Arizona. The conversation was recorded on an FBI wiretap between Miller and with sports agent Christian Dawkins, ESPN reported.

While the FBI has yet to publicly release anything linking Miller to the scandal, the initial investigation revealed the related scheme involving "significant cash payments" by athletic advisors and one shoe company to the families of high school basketball players.

The players were paid at the request of coaches at two of the universities in exchange for commitments to the schools. In the case of Arizona, Richardson reportedly sought money from an agent so he could funnel it to a recruit.

Here's a timeline of Richardson's involvement, according to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court, and what's happened in recent days.

February 2017-September 2017: The complaint against Richardson says that between February and September, co-defendants Christian Dawkins and Munish Sood paid Richardson $20,000 in bribes, "some of which Richardson appears to have kept for himself and some of which he appears to have provided to at least one prospective high school basketball player" in order to recruit the player to UA, the complaint says.

March: Dawkins, a sports agent who was fired by ASM Sports, receives money to start a new company from Sood, founder and CEO of the Princeton Advisory Group, an investment services company, according to the complaint. Dawkins introduces Richardson and Sood during the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas.

June: An FBI wiretap records a conversation between Dawkins and Richardson in which the two discuss a high school basketball player that Richardson was going to pay to come play for the UA, the complaint says.

Dawkins tells Richardson that the group is prepared to pay him $5,000 or more per month, and that Richardson could "funnel part of the bribe money" to pay the prospective player, saying "it's multiple ways to skin a cat," the complaint says. A month later, Dawkins tells an undercover agent that Richardson needs another $15,000 to secure the player, whom Dawkins identified as a "top point guard in the country," according to the complaint.

August: Dawkins, Sood and Richardson meet at a restaurant in Arizona and talk about the players Richardson intends to "influence to sign with Dawkins' new company," including a "kind of sheltered kid" whose relative "doesn't know" much about the industry.

Sept. 26: Richardson is arrested and charged. He faces up to 60 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines if convicted of all charges.

Friday morning: Yahoo Sports releases details of the FBI investigation, based on hundreds of pages of discovery materials. Expense reports and balance sheets from ASM sports -- Dawkins' former employer -- list cash advances, entertainment and travel expenses for high school and college prospects and their families, according to Yahoo. The documents reveal an "underground recruiting operation" for at least 20 basketball programs, Yahoo said.

Friday night: An ESPN report links Miller to parties named in the federal indictment. ESPN reports that FBI wiretaps recorded a discussion between Miller and Dawkins during which the two discussed the price tag of landing Ayton. ESPN's story doesn't say if Ayton received any money. Yahoo Sports, meanwhile, releases more details into the investigation. Former UA associate head coach Joe Pastnernack is repeatedly mentioned in a chain of emails in which Dawkins and his boss, Andy Miller, discuss recruits, according to Yahoo sports.

Saturday afternoon: Miller tells his players that it's in the best interest of the team for him not to coach the game.

Saturday night: An attorney representing Ayton's family says the player met with the FBI six months ago, and has repeatedly denied receiving any money to attend Arizona.

Credit: Arizona Daily Star

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February 25, 2018




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