Sean Miller is not coaching for Arizona on Saturday night, one day after the revelation of his voice on a wiretap discussing a payment of $100,000 to secure megaprospect DeAndre Ayton, the Arizona Daily Star reported.
Miller was heard on a wiretap in a discussion with Christian Dawkins from ASM Sports agency, according to an ESPN report. Dawkins was one of 10 people arrested in September as part of a wide-ranging FBI investigation into corruption in college basketball. One of Miller’s assistants, Emmanuel “Book” Richardson, was also one of the 10 men arrested by the FBI. The school fired Richardson on Jan. 11.
Ayton is one of the top freshmen in the nation and a candidate to be the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. The Wildcats, who are ranked No. 14 in the AP Top 25 poll, are playing at Oregon. They are 21-6 with three games remaining in the regular season. News 4 Tucson reported that Ayton is expected to play for Arizona.
Several other top current college players are also caught up in the FBI probe after a Yahoo Sports report. Duke’s Wendell Carter, Michigan State’s Miles Bridges and Kentucky’s Kevin Knox have all been cleared by their schools to continue playing despite being named in documents detailing illegal loans and payments from Dawkins and Andy Miller, who used to head up ASM and had clients that include Kristaps Porzingis and former Seton Hall star Isaiah Whitehead.
Minutes after the news broke that Miller will not coach for Arizona against Oregon, one of the Wildcats’ two four-star commitments in the Class of 2018 tweeted that he will reopen his recruiting process. Shareef O’Neal, the son of NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, is the No. 33 player in the nation, according to the 247Sports composite rankings and was one of two top-35 players committed to play for Arizona.