Second-stint Xavier head coach Sean Miller, who previously coached at Arizona, has been ruled free of sanctions by the Independent Accountability and Resolutions Process (IARP) case ruling from his time at Arizona. The Arizona men’s basketball program is clear of any major punishments as well. The announcement was made Wednesday.
“This has been a long journey and I am glad everything is finally finished. I am excited to move forward. I’d like to thank my wife Amy and my entire family, President Hanycz and Greg Christopher for their support through the completion of this process,” Miller said in a statement.
Arizona self-imposed a post-season ban for the 2020-21 NCAA Tournament to offset punishments from the case when it was confirmed. That tactic worked. “The panel also applied significant weight to Arizona’s self-imposed penalties, especially the 2020-21 postseason competition ban for its men’s basketball program,” the IRP said in a statement.
Former assistant at Arizona, Emanuel “Book” Richardson, was given an 10-year show-cause penalty for accepting $60,000 in bribes and his lack of cooperation in the case. He was caught on FBI video in 2017 agreeing to lean prospects to Christian Dawkins’ sports-oriented business agency. Dawkins’ endeavor was, however, funded by the FBI and undercover agents as a part of a sting operation. Richardson spent three months in federal prison in 2019 after he plead guilty to the charges in court in January 2019.
The student-athlete being referenced in the release related to Dawkins is Rawls Alkins, who is a former Arizona guard.
“Violations found by the hearing panel were related to the solicitation and acceptance of $20,000 in cash bribes by former assistant men’s basketball coach No. 1 in exchange for promoting the use of a business management company’s services to a men’s basketball student-athlete, and a payment of $40,000 by former assistant men’s basketball coach No. 1 to obtain a fraudulent high school academic course credit and transcript for a men’s basketball prospective student-athlete,” per release.
Fellow former Arizona assistant Mark Phelps received a two-year show-cause penalty after arranging fraudulent transcripts. These were for two Wildcat prospects, one of which later enrolled.
Since Alkins is now retroactively ineligible to play, the 50 victories obtained between the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons will be vacated. The Wildcats won the Pac-12 regular season and tournament titles those years. These titles, along with the 50 wins, will be removed from Sean Miller’s, Arizona’s, and Alkins’ record books. Alkin’s college stats will also be vacated.
Additional penalties against Arizona are as follows and comprised almost entirely of self-imposed sanctions:
- Competition penalty during the 2020-21 academic year during which the men’s basketball program did not participate in the postseason conference or NCAA tournament competition (self-imposed)
- $5,000 fine, plus 1% of the average men’s basketball budget based on the average of the men’s basketball program’s previous three total budgets (self-imposed)
- A reduction in the total number of men’s basketball scholarships for the incoming class of the 2023-24 academic year by one, from the permissible total of 13, or if a scholarship becomes available prior to the 2022-23 academic year (self-imposed)
- A two-week ban on men’s basketball campus visits during March 2022 (self-imposed)
- A reduction in the number of official visits in men’s basketball by 10% for the 2021-22 academic year (self-imposed)
- A 15-day reduction in the number of recruiting person days for the 2021-22 academic year (self-imposed), plus an additional two-day reduction in the number of recruiting person days for the 2022-23 academic year
- A seven-week recruiting communication (telephone and written correspondence) ban for the 2022-23 academic year
Much like the NC State, Memphis and Louisville rulings, the punishment for Xavier is light. The IRP has continued their philosophy of not punishing current student athletes.
However, the IARP does not allow schools to appeal the decisions. Everything announced Wednesday is final. The IARP will dissolve once all cases have been ruled on.
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