Xavier men’s basketball coach Sean Miller will not face penalties while two of his former assistants will serve lengthy sentences in the Arizona infractions case that was adjudicated by the Independent Impeachment Resolution Process Commission.
In a decision announced Wednesday, the commission said the University of Arizona received lesser penalties in part because of its decision to impose a postseason ban for the 2021 NCAA Tournament. However, the school must vacate all wins involving two athletes identified as “Student Athlete No. 1” and “Student-athlete number 3”. According to the commission’s decision, the games affected by “Student Athlete No. 1” took place from 2016 to 2018.
Arizona was charged with five Level 1 violations from incidents that allegedly occurred during Miller’s tenure there. Miller was facing a Level 1 charge of “failing to prove that he promoted Joe to compliance and monitored his team within the basketball program.”
Former assistants Book Richardson and Mark Phelps were given 10-year and two-year penalties respectively for NCAA violations that occurred at Arizona State. The commission also ruled that Arizona “failed to monitor” both the men’s basketball and swimming and diving programs, which were also found to have committed violations by the NCAA.
“The Hearing Panel did not find any violation by the former men’s basketball coach because the Hearing Panel determined that the former men’s basketball coach demonstrated that he promoted an atmosphere of compliance and monitored two of his assistants regarding the academic eligibility of the prospective men’s basketball student-athletes overturning the assumption of the coach’s responsibility.”
Miller said the IARP ruling allows him to move forward.
“This has been a long journey and I’m glad it all worked out in the end,” he said in a statement on Wednesday. “I’m excited going forward. I want to thank my wife, Amy, and all of my family, the president [Colleen Hanycz] And the [athletic director] Greg Christopher for their support during the completion of this process.”
The commission said Arizona’s decision to impose a postseason ban for the 2020-21 season constituted the sanctions imposed on the program for not being monitored. The school will pay a $5,000 fine and forfeit one scholarship for the upcoming recruiting semester, in addition to the vacated winnings.
The commission said that “the independent decision panel was intentional not to impose sanctions that would have an adverse effect on current student-athletes.”
The reason for the 10-year bid for Richardson, who pleaded guilty in federal court to accepting bribes to steer prospects to what the FBI called “corrupt financial managers” and served time in prison as a result, essentially banishes him from the sport for the next decade. The report also stated that Richardson paid $40,000 for a forged copy to help an athlete remain eligible. He was the only coach in the investigation charged with Level 1 violations.
The IARP committee stated that Richardson did not cooperate with the investigation.
“Following his termination at Arizona, the former No. 1 Men’s Assistant Basketball Coach failed to cooperate with NCAA law enforcement officials throughout the investigation of the wrongdoing case by knowingly providing false information and refusing to disclose information relevant to the investigation of potential violations, undermining and threatening the integrity of The NCAA collegiate form, pursuant to the decision of the infractions case,” the commission’s ruling read.
Phelps, who is now the head coach at Prolific Prep in Napa, Calif., has been subjected to a two-year probationary cause after it was found that he committed Level II and III violations for asking a player to lie about an improper $500 loan, an NCAA violation, and using an Arizona player to help him recruit two prospects for a grassroots event.
Arizona chose the independent accountability resolution process over the traditional NCAA infractions process. An IARP decision cannot be appealed.
That investigation has dragged on for the past four years after he nabbed federal runner Christian Dawkins, who told financial advisor Munish Sood that Miller was behind a series of five-figure payments to Deandre Ayton, the first pick in the 2018 NBA draft. which was controversial. The hire helped fuel the headlines that led to Miller’s landing at Arizona State. Miller has consistently denied that he ever paid players.
“I have never knowingly violated NCAA rules while serving as the head coach of this great program,” Miller said in a statement after a 2018 ESPN report alleged he had been caught wiretapped discussing payments to Ayton.
Dana Welch, IARP panel member and arbitrator and mediator with Welch ADR in California, said Miller took pains to stress the importance of compliance to his team’s staff and players. She also said that Phelps and Richardson were deceitful in their actions.
“The record is really filled in terms of the actions the former coach took to ensure his staff and players understood the importance of compliance,” Welch said on a call after IARP’s decision on Wednesday. “Almost all of the actions these two instructors took were confidential… regarding [Richardson]They were criminals. In our opinion, a head coach cannot detect these types of actions.”
Welch added: “We felt the information did not support the coach’s responsibility [violations for Miller]. “
In a statement to ESPN, Richardson said he deserves another chance and added that the upcoming documentary, “Open Book,” will showcase the changes he’s made in his life since his arrest in 2017 along with three other Division I basketball assistants at the Federal Reserve. Investigation.
“With today’s announcement of the results associated with the NCAA investigation into the University of Arizona, I have finally come to an end from a long and difficult chapter of my life,” his statement read. “Almost five and a half years ago, I made a mistake and a bad choice in judgment. Something haunts me and takes away a part of my life that is very important to me: basketball…
“A lot has happened in the past five and a half years. I’ve been incarcerated in Otisville Federal Prison. I’ve had two years of federal supervised release. The game I love has been taken away and I’ve been destroyed to almost nothing. Even with that, I’ve used that time to become a teacher.” A mentor, person, friend, uncle, brother, son, and better father….September 26, 2017, is truly a day of infamy for me. A day that I can no longer be allowed to dictate and define who I am. I am a coach. A coach who made a mistake, spent my time and paid my debt to the community.”
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