The University of Arizona men’s basketball program has reportedly received a Notice of Allegations that includes nine violations.
According to Sports Illustrated, the NOA from the NCAA includes five Level I allegations that stem from the bribery scandal that has a number of men’s basketball programs in hot water. Arizona, which acknowledged receipt of the NOA on Friday, is reportedly the 10th school to be charged in the pay-for-play scandal, according to SI. The Wildcats join North Carolina State, Kansas, Oklahoma State, USC, TCU, Louisville and South Carolina, while Creighton and Auburn haven’t publicly acknowledged receiving their NOAs.
The Wildcats’ nine violations are the most yet, and could lead to heavy penalties for the program and head coach Sean Miller. Arizona’s involvement stems from FBI wiretaps and assistant coach Emanuel “Book” Richardson pleading guilty to accepting $20,000 in bribes to push Arizona players toward agent Christian Dawkins and investor Munish Sood.
In 2019, Dawkins was sentenced to one year and one day in jail for his role in the pay-for-play scandal. Richardson, who was sentenced to three months in federal prison, had been caught on a federal wiretap discussing paying $40,000 to a high school coach of former Arizona player Rawle Alkins.
Former Arizona assistant coach Mark Phelps was also relieved of his duties in February 2019 after being accused of a violation related to the transcript of Shareef O’Neal, who originally committed Arizona before the violations came out.
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Miller was also implicated in the wiretaps. According to SI, one caught Richardson telling Dawkins that Miller paid current Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton $10,000 per month to play at Arizona. Sources told ESPN in February 2018 that an intercepted phone call between Miller and Dawkins found Miller discussed paying $100,000 to ensure Ayton signed with Arizona.
According to Tucson.com, the penalty process could take up to 18 months if Arizona fights the allegations.
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