According to government sources cited by ESPN, an FBI wiretap revealed Arizona head coach Sean Miller discussing a $100,000 payment to their star player Deandre Ayton.
The conversation was not with Ayton, but instead with a runner for a sports agent that was facilitating the entire payment in order to acquire Ayton.
This is just one of the many findings uncovered by the FBI probe into college basketball. Just yesterday, the FBI uncovered connections between Miles Bridges, his mother and a sports agent named Christian Dawkins, the same agent involved in the Arizona investigation, who violated NCAA rules when its comes to ameture athletic play and paying players.
FBI wiretaps intercepted telephone conversations between Arizona coach Sean Miller and Christian Dawkins, a key figure in the FBI’s investigation into college basketball corruption, in which Miller discussed paying $100,000 to ensure star freshman Deandre Ayton signed with the Wildcats, sources familiar with the government’s evidence told ESPN.
According to people with knowledge of the FBI investigation, Miller and Dawkins, a runner working for ASM Sports agent Andy Miller, had multiple conversations about Ayton. When Dawkins asked Sean Miller if he should work with assistant coach Emanuel “Book” Richardson to finalize their agreement, Miller told Dawkins he should deal directly with him when it came to money, the sources said.
As for Miller, he has been very quiet when asked about this issue but did release a statement in early October:
“As the head basketball coach at the University of Arizona, I recognize my responsibility is not only to establish a culture of success on the basketball court and in the classroom, but as important, to promote and reinforce a culture of compliance; To the best of my ability, I have worked to demonstrate this over the past 8 years and will continue to do so as we move forward.”
This “culture of compliance” is beginning to become a complete lie as Miller could possibly be fired as the head coach without pay for the remainder of his five-year $2.6 million contract due to him clearly violating many NCAA rules.
There will always be corruption in some form, but the findings by this FBI probe have made the general public realize just how bad it actually is. There is no doubt that the NCAA has a serious problem when it comes to enforcing their amateurism standards.