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Arizona’s Sean Miller receives standing ovation at Wildcats’ game

Arizona Wildcats coach Sean Miller received a standing ovation from fans as he walked onto the court at McKale Center Thursday night.

The reaction from fans was expected after Miller had missed the Wildcats’ overtime loss at Oregon on Saturday after a report alleged Miller was heard on FBI wiretaps discussing a payment to ensure the commitment from now-freshman Deandre Ayton.

Miller released a statement ahead of the game in Eugene saying that it was within the “best interests” of the team that he not coach that game.

But Miller returned Thursday night as Arizona took on Stanford, and the Wildcats’ faithful didn’t hesitate to show their support for the coach.

Just before tipoff the crowd erupted once again when Miller appeared on the jumbo tron.

Miller held a press conference earlier Thursday to address the Feb. 23 report from ESPN’s Mark Schlabach, insisting that he had run a clean program and had never knowingly committed any recruiting violations in his time at the university.

“Any reporting to the contrary is inaccurate, false, and defamatory,” Miller said Thursday. “I’m outraged by the media statements that have been made, and the acceptance that these statements were true.”

Later in the day, University of Arizona president Robert C. Robbins and athletic director Dave Heeke met with the Arizona Board of Regents to discuss Miller’s future with the Wildcats’ program.

According to Robbins, the university and the regents felt confident in allowing Miller to continue to coach the program, giving him full support.

“At this time, we have no reason to believe that Coach Miller violated NCAA rules or any laws regarding the allegation reported in the media,” Robbins said.

“I made the decision to move forward with Coach Miller as our coach.”

Along with Miller, the Wildcats also received news Thursday that junior guard Allonzo Trier won his appeal to the NCAA and was eligible to play against Stanford.

Trier had missed Arizona’s last two games after he tested positive for trace amounts of the same performance enhancer that caused him to miss 19 games last season.

Early in the first half of the Wildcats’ matchup with Stanford, Trier let everyone know that he was back, nailing a deep 3-pointer to send McKale Center into a frenzy.

With a win against Stanford, the Wildcats would clinch the Pac-12 regular season championship.