Arizona men's basketball self-imposes 1-year postseason ban
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona men’s basketball program has self-imposed a one-year postseason ban related to its long-running NCAA rules infractions case.
Arizona was accused of nine counts of misconduct, including five Level I violations, in a Notice of Allegations sent by the NCAA in October. The violations include a lack of institutional control and failure to monitor by the university, and lack of head coach control by basketball coach Sean Miller.
The school announced the one-year ban Tuesday.
“The decision is an acknowledgement that the NCAA’s investigation revealed that certain former members of the MBB staff displayed serious lapses in judgment and a departure from the University’s expectation of honest and ethical behavior,” the school said in a statement. “It is also in accord with the penalty guidelines of the NCAA for the type of violations involved.”
Arizona is off to a 7-1 start this season, including a 1-1 mark in the Pac-12, but won’t have the opportunity to play in the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats have a revamped roster after freshmen stars Josh Green, Zeke Nnaji and Nico Mannion were all selected in the NBA draft.
“I understand and fully support the University’s decision to self-impose a one-year post season ban on our men’s basketball program,” Miller said in a statement. “Our team will remain united and aggressively compete to win a Pac-12 championship.”
Arizona had been in the NCAA’s crosshairs since 2017, when assistant coach Emanuel Richardson was among 10 people arrested as part of a federal corruption investigation into college basketball.
Richardson was fired by the university and later pleaded guilty to accepting $20,000 in bribes from aspiring business manager Christian Dawkins. He was sentenced to three months in prison in 2019.
Miller sat out a game in 2018 after ESPN reported that he was heard on an FBI wiretap discussing a $100,000 payment to future No. 1 overall NBA pick Deandre Ayton. Miller vehemently denied the report and university President Robert C. Robbins announced a few days later that Miller would remain the Wildcats’ coach.
Arizona was one of several schools involved in the federal probe, including Oklahoma State, Kansas and Louisville.