Coach Xavier Miller was released from the Arizona decision
Xavier’s men’s basketball coach Sean Miller will not face any sanctions while two of his former assistants will serve lengthy show sentences in an Arizona misconduct case decided by an Independent Accountability Resolution Process panel.
In a decision announced on Wednesday, the panel said the University of Arizona received a less severe penalty in part because of its decision to impose a post-season ban for the 2021 NCAA tournament. The school, however, must vacate all wins where two athletes identified as “students” -athlete No. 1″ and “student-athlete No. 3” participated. As per the panel’s decision, the matches affected by “student-athlete No. 1” took place from 2016 to 2018.
Arizona has been charged with five Grade I offenses from incidents that allegedly occurred during Miller’s tenure there. Miller faced Grade I accusations that he “failed to demonstrate that he was promoting an atmosphere of obedience and monitoring his staff in the basketball program.”
Former assistants Book Richardson and Mark Phelps were sentenced to 10 years and two years respectively for NCAA violations that occurred in Arizona. The panel also ruled that Arizona had “failed to monitor” its men’s basketball and swim and dive programs, which were also found to have committed NCAA violations.
“The panel found no violations against the former head coach of men’s basketball because the assembly ruled that the former head coach of men’s basketball demonstrated that he promoted an atmosphere of obedience and monitored his two assistant coaches regarding the academic eligibility of prospective male student basketball. -the athlete, disputes the assumed responsibility of the head coach,” said the panel’s decision.
Miller said the IARP decision allowed him to move forward.
“It’s been a long journey and I’m glad it’s finally over,” he said in a statement on Wednesday. “I’m excited to move forward. I want to thank my wife Amy and the rest of my family, President [Colleen Hanycz] and [athletic director] Greg Christopher for their support throughout the completion of this process.”
The panel said Arizona’s decision to self-impose a postseason ban for the 2020-21 season constitutes a sanction against the program for failure to monitor. The school will pay a $5,000 fine and forfeit one scholarship for the incoming recruiting class, along with any vacated winnings.
“The Independent Resolution Panel deliberately refrained from providing a penalty that would have a negative impact on today’s student athletes,” the panel said.
The 10-year event excuse for Richardson, who pleaded guilty in federal court to accepting bribes to direct prospects to what the FBI called “corrupt financial managers” and served prison time as a result, essentially kicked him out of the sport for the next decade. . The report also stated that Richardson paid $40,000 for fake transcripts to help an athlete remain eligible. He is the only coach under investigation to be charged with a Grade I offense.
The IARP panel stated that Richardson did not cooperate in the investigation.
“After his employment was terminated in Arizona, the former No. 1 assistant men’s basketball coach failed to cooperate with NCAA enforcement staff during an infringement investigation by knowingly providing false information and refusing to disclose information relevant to an investigation of possible infringement, tampering and threatening the integrity of the model. NCAA colleges, pursuant to the infringement case decision,” said the panel’s ruling.
Phelps, who is now the head coach at Prolific Prep in Napa, California, was hit with gig grounds two years after being found to be in Level II and Level III violations for soliciting a player to lie about an unauthorized $500 loan, an NCAA violation, and for using Arizona player to help him recruit two prospects at a grassroots event.
Arizona chose the Independent Accountability Resolution Process over the traditional NCAA violation process. The IARP decision is not subject to appeal.
This investigation has been ongoing for the past four years after federal wiretapping caught runner Christian Dawkins informing financial adviser Munish Sood that Miller was allegedly behind a string of five-figure payments to Deandre Ayton, the No. 1 pick. 1 in the recruiting-controversial 2018 NBA draft helped fuel the headlines that led to Miller’s descent into Arizona. Miller has consistently denied that he ever paid players.
“I have never knowingly violated any NCAA rules while serving as the head coach of this great program,” Miller said in a statement after a 2018 ESPN report alleged he was caught in a wiretap discussing payments to Ayton.
Dana Welch, IARP panelist and arbitrator and mediator with Welch ADR in California, said Miller was trying to emphasize the importance of compliance to his staff and players. He also said Phelps and Richardson were deceptive in their actions.
“His record is absolutely complete in terms of the actions the former coach took to ensure his staff and players understand the importance of compliance,” Welch said via Zoom call after the IARP decision on Wednesday. “Almost all actions taken by these two assistant coaches are confidential. … With respect to [Richardson], they are criminals. In our view, this kind of action cannot be detected by the head coach.”
Welch added: “We feel that the information does not support the responsibilities of a head coach [violations for Miller].”
In a statement to ESPN, Richardson said he deserved another chance and added that his upcoming documentary, “Open Book,” will showcase the changes he has made in his life since he was arrested in 2017 along with three other Division I basketball assistants. in federal. investigation.
“With today’s release of findings related to the NCAA investigation at the University of Arizona, I am finally closing a long and difficult chapter in my life,” the statement read. “Almost five and a half years ago, I made mistakes and bad choices in judgment. Something that has haunted me and taken away a part of my life that was very important to me: basketball. …
“A lot has happened in the last five and a half years. I have been incarcerated in Otisville Federal Penitentiary. I have served two years of federal supervised release. The game I love has been taken away and I have been broken to almost nothing. Even with this, I have use this time to be a better teacher, mentor, person, friend, uncle, brother, son and father. … September 26, 2017, was truly an ugly day for me. The day I can no longer allow for dictates and defines who I am. I am a coach. A coach who makes mistakes, wastes my time and repays my debt to society.”