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Sean Miller releases first statement since assistant coach’s suspension

Arizona coach Sean Miller watch his team during practice Wednesday, March 22, 2017, in San Jose, Calif., in preparation for an NCAA men's college basketball tournament West Regional semifinal against Xavier on Thursday. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

University of Arizona head basketball coach Sean Miller broke his silence since the suspension of assistant coach Emanuel Richardson, releasing a statement Tuesday.

I was devastated to learn last week of the allegations made against Emanuel Richardson. I have expressed to both Dr. Robbins and our Athletic Director Dave Heeke that I fully support the University’s efforts to fully investigate these allegations. As the head basketball coach at the University of Arizona, I recognize my responsibility is not only to establish a culture of success on the basketball court and in the classroom, but as important, to promote and reinforce a culture of compliance. To the best of my ability, I have worked to demonstrate this over the past 8 years and will continue to do so as we move forward.

Richardson was charged with fraud and corruption in college basketball along with nine other coaches on Sept. 26.

Athletic Director Dave Heeke also released a full statement, supporting Miller and the team.

With basketball practice underway, I ask that you join me in supporting Sean Miller, the staff, and our student-athletes as they work towards the start of the season.

Arizona’s president Robert C. Robbins had a statement as well, also backing up Miller.

Head coach Sean Miller has not been charged with—nor accused of—any misconduct and he has been fully cooperative and supportive of our efforts to determine the facts in pursuit of the truth. In a message that he shared with the community earlier today, Sean expressed his own devastation at the revelations last week and acknowledged his responsibility as the head coach to promote and reinforce a culture of compliance. Based on the facts that we know at this time, we support Coach Miller and intend to provide him with all of the tools necessary to meet our goals and expectations.

The team’s media day that week was canceled and Miller also canceled a speaking arrangement at the Tucson Rotary Club on Wednesday, according to the Arizona Daily Star’s Bruce Pascoe.

Pac-12 media day is on Oct. 12.

A statement from Arizona athletics said they became aware of Richardson’s situation that morning and they will fully cooperate with authorities.

“The behavior that Richardson is accused of is completely unacceptable and does not reflect the principles of this athletics department,” they said in a statement.

The team’s recruiting process has taken a hit since the news broke. R.J. Barrett, the top recruit in the 2018 class according to ESPN, no longer included Arizona in his recently updated list of schools and Simi Shittu, a five-star forward, canceled his recruiting visit to Arizona.

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