As a week of sentencing for the former Division I assistant coaches implicated in the college basketball corruption scandal draws to a close, former Arizona assistant coach Emanuel “Book” Richardson was hit with the most severe sentence yet.
The Associated Press reports that Richardson will serve three months in prison and will be on probation for two years for his role in the scandal. Richardson pleaded guilty earlier this year to having accepted $20,000 in bribes from aspiring sports agent Christian Dawkins in exchange for Richardson influencing athletes he coached to work with Dawkins after graduating.
“Instead of prioritizing his student-athletes’ best interests, Richardson sought to profit from them, treating the student-athletes that he coached as assets that he could control for his own benefit,” wrote prosecutors in court papers seeking up to two years in prison for Richardson.
The general counsel for the University of Arizona described the negative impact Richardson’s conduct has had on the school since the allegations came to light, claiming that “the recruitment effort for future players became substantially more challenging,” and that the school “is also facing the prospect of potentially significant sanctions and penalties from the NCAA flowing from the unlawful actions involved in this case.”
Just before he was sentence was handed down, Richardson apologized to the players he coached at Arizona.
“I let them down,” he said.
Earlier this week, former USC assistant coach Tony Bland received a sentence of 100 hours of community service and two years of probation for his role in the scandal. Two other former coaches implicated in the scandal — Lamont Evans and Chuck Person — are set to be sentenced on Friday.