Arizona’s men’s basketball program has imposed a one-year ban after the end of the season, the school announced Tuesday.
The decision follows an NCAA investigation in 2017 into corruption in university basketball and the recruitment of university basketball players. ESPN and The Athletic reported in October that Arizona had nine NCAA violations, including five level 1 shipments. Athletic reported that Arizona was charged with a lack of institutional control and control failure, and head coach Sean Miller was charged with a lack of control by the head coach.
In October, Arizona was informed of the NCAA’s allegations and requested to refer the case to a newly established independent liability dispute resolution procedure.
The University of Arizona is independently imposing a one-year post-season suspension to the AU people’s basketball program as a proactive measure as part of the ongoing NCAA application process, the school said in a statement. This decision recognizes that the NCAA’s investigation has shown that some former FMS employees have made serious errors of judgment and deviated from the university’s expectations of fair and ethical conduct. This is also in line with the NCAA guidelines on sanctions for related violations. This decision also underlines the institution’s commitment to accountability and integrity and serves the long-term interests of the university and the men’s basketball programme.
Former Arizona assistant coach Emanuel Book Richardson pleaded guilty to conspiracy to bribe after being accused of receiving $20,000 to refer players from Arizona to aspiring sports agent Christian Dawkins and financial advisors near Dawkins. During Dawkins’ trial, prosecutor made a phone call in which Richardson told Dawkins that Miller was paying $10,000 a month for former player Deandre Ayton. Miller always denied paying players to visit Arizona.
Charges have also been filed against former player Rawle Alkins, and Arizona has indefinitely suspended former relief coach Mark Phelps for alleged violations of the 2019 NCAA rules.
The decision to issue the ban in our own way was extremely difficult because we recognize the impact it will have on our current student athletes, said athletic director Dave Heeke. We will continue to work fully with the NCAA and support the hard-working young men in our men’s basketball program.
Arizona advanced to 7-1 (1-1 in the Pac-12) after a 14-point home win by Colorado on Monday. The post-season ban includes the Pac-12 tournament, so Arizona’s season ends on the 6th. End of the march against the rival state of Arizona.
I understand and support the university’s decision to independently impose a one-year post-season suspension to our people’s basketball program, Miller said in a statement. Our team remains united and fights hard to win the PAC-12 championship.
Just before the start of the season, Auburn announced that he would introduce his own ban at the end of the season.
The Associated Press has contributed to this report.