Tucson lawyer gives perspective on basketball scandal

Tucson lawyer gives perspective on basketball scandal

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A Tucson attorney, who has worked for the basketball program at the University of Arizona, believes the silence of Head Coach Sean Miller "is a little deafening" following the FBI's announcement of charges yesterday against Assistant Coach Book Richardson, accused of taking bribes.

For Jeff Rogers, a stalwart fan, "we're hoping Coach Miller and none of his staff were involved" but he would have insisted Miller "get out ahead of this."

While the reason's for Miller's silence are not known and only speculation, Rogers said "if someone came to me, one of those assistant coaches or coaches, I would ask did you have anything to do with it."

If the answer to that question was yes, Rogers would say "you need to be silent, you can't say anything about this."

That's not an indictment of Miller but only speculation, it's just the longer it takes to speak out, the more questions it raises.

Rogers feels the university will be sanctioned severely whether by the NCAA or whether it self imposes sanctions. The university may take that route.

"They look at the typical sanctions that has been imposed and self impose those sanctions in the hope that it will satisfy the NCAA is the process," he said.

It does work sometimes although generally other sanctions can be imposed on top of the ones taken by the university.

Two years of no post season plan and relinquishing some scholarships is a general rule.

The FBI's investigation has been going on for two years but the probe into the U of A was late in the game, starting in March, gathering steam in June and July, culminating in charges in September.

The U of A part of the probe was very short by FBI standards, which likely means it already has a great deal of information.

"In federal investigations, there's a lot more informing going on on other people," Rogers said. "So there's all of these people, all the coaches, they know other coaches who are involved."

Rogers says the FBI will use that to gather more information as they bargain for reduced sentences.

"Typically, the people who know the most, get the best deals," he said.

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