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Sean Miller will not coach for Arizona against Oregon, per statement

Arizona head coach Sean Miller shouts to his team in the first half during an NCAA college basketball game against Utah, Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Arizona head coach Sean Miller will not coach the Wildcats on the road against Oregon and issued a statement saying it was “in the best interest” of the team.

“I believe it is in the best interest of our team that I will not coach the game tonight,” Miller said in the statement. “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.”

This comes following an ESPN report where sources said FBI wiretaps have Miller on record discussing impermissible payments to Deandre Ayton. The freshman center will play against the Ducks.

The university expressed a consensus with Miller’s statement by issuing their own.

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 gmae in Eugene, Oregon. – Statement from the University of Arizona

According to a report by ESPN’s Mark Schlabach, Miller had conversations with a key figure in the FBI’s investigation into college basketball corruption that revealed a discussion of paying $100,000 to ensure a commitment from Ayton.

The wiretaps intercepted conversations on the phone between Sean Miller and Christian Dawkins, a runner working for ASM Sports agent Andy Miller.

In a report from Yahoo! Sports, emails between Dawkins and Andy Miller reveal how programs such as Arizona, Michigan State and Indiana attempt to go about recruiting.

The documents from Yahoo! Sports’ report include Dawkins checking in with six ASM clients, including the Memphis Grizzlies’ Jarrell Martin. He spoke with or planned meetings with two of the other assistants that were arrested by the FBI, Oklahoma State’s Lamont Evans and USC’s Tony Bland.

Richardson was one of four college assistants arrested — 10 total individuals, including Dawkins — by the FBI in late September. He was suspended and relieved of all duties after being charged with fraud and corruption.

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

Richardson had been with the program since 2009. His chief responsibility was recruiting.

Ayton has been one of the best players in the country. The potential No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft is averaging 19.6 points and 10.9 rebounds a game for the Wildcats.

The news comes less than 48 hours after star guard Allonzo Trier was ruled ineligible for the second time in two years because of testing positive for a banned substance.

It hits the athletic department in a time of controversy.

The Wildcats fired head football coach Rich Rodriguez at the beginning of January following a harassment scandal and the school has been named in claims related to Title IX violations involving both Rodriguez and former running back Orlando Bradford’s assault case.

Now, Arizona has been one of the most high-profile schools in the college basketball investigation that has revealed an inside look at the complex operations between shoe companies, professional sports agents and college athletics.

Emmert said in a statement Friday the allegations “if true, point to systematic failures that must be fixed and fixed now if we want college sports in America.”

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