Sean Miller, University of Arizona release statements in wake of scandal

Sean Miller, University of Arizona release statements in wake of scandal
Will Sean Miller coach the Wildcats tonight when they face the Oregon Ducks in Eugene? (Photo courtesy: Arizona Athletics)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The University of Arizona and Sean Miller released statements Saturday in response to reports made on Friday alleging that Miller had discussions about paying a star player to play at Arizona.

You can see the full statements from the UA and Sean Miller below:

Statement from the University of Arizona:

The University of Arizona and head basketball coach Sean Miller have agreed that it is in the best interests of the University and the basketball program that he will not coach tonight's game in Eugene, Oregon. Associate head coach Lorenzo Romar will coach in his place. Deandre Ayton is eligible and will play tonight.

Statement from Sean Miller:

I believe it is in the best interest of our team that I not coach the game tonight. I continue to fully support the University's efforts to fully investigate this matter and am confident that I will be vindicated. For now, my thoughts are with our team. They are a great group of young men that will support each other and continue their pursuit of winning a Pac-12 championship.

ESPN college basketball reporter Jeff Goodman reported that Arizona Basketball coach Sean Miller will not coach against Oregon on Saturday.

The news on Saturday comes after Miller was named in a report on Friday.

According to an ESPN article, the FBI intercepted phone conversations between Miller and Christian Dawkins, a key figure in the federal agency's investigation into college basketball.

A source told ESPN Miller reportedly discussed a $100,000 payment to Deandre Ayton to ensure the standout freshman signed with the Wildcats.

Both Miller and Dawkins, who worked with ASM Sports agent Andy Miller, allegedly had several conversations about Ayton.

Miller reportedly told Dawkins that he should deal directly with him (Miller), instead of assistant coach Emanuel "Book" Richardson when it came to finalizing the agreement.

On Saturday, the Wildcats lost one of the top recruits in the 2018 recruiting class in Shareef O'Neal.

O'Neal, the son of legendary NBA star Shaquille O'Neal, went to Twitter on Saturday to announce his decision to open up his recruitment.

He later tweeted:

Richardson was fired as assistant coach of the Wildcats after an earlier scandal broke about an alleged bribery scheme he was involved in.

[READ MORE:  UA assistant basketball coach suspended, charged in bribery schemeLooking for answers in the Book Richardson caseUA fires assistant basketball coach Book Richardson]

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