ARIZONA BASKETBALL

ESPN’s Bilas: ‘I trust Mark Schlabach’s report’ on Arizona’s Sean Miller

Mar 1, 2018, 4:36 PM | Updated: Mar 2, 2018, 11:45 am
Arizona NCAA college basketball coach Sean Miller speaks at a press conference in Tucson, Ariz., Th...

Arizona NCAA college basketball coach Sean Miller speaks at a press conference in Tucson, Ariz., Thursday, March 1, 2018. Miller vehemently shot down a report claiming he discussed a six-figure payment to a top recruit and said he looks forward to continuing to coach the team. (Mike Christy/Arizona Daily Star via AP)

(Mike Christy/Arizona Daily Star via AP)
LISTEN: Jay Bilas, ESPN Basketball Analyst

With Arizona Wildcats head coach Sean Miller shooting down a Feb. 23 ESPN report from Mark Schlabach that alleged he was heard on an FBI wiretap about an impermissible benefit involving freshman Deandre Ayton, the question became, “Which side is telling the truth?”

ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas is on the side of Schlabach.

“I trust the reporting,” he said Thursday on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Burns & Gambo. “There were multiple sources in this report, and I trust the reporting.”

When asked if he trusts the specific reporting of Miller allegedly discussing a payment to Ayton on the FBI wiretaps, Bilas didn’t hesitate.

“I trust Mark Schlabach’s report in this entirety, yes,” he said.

Schlabach appeared on ESPN’s SportsCenter Thursday and said he stood by his reporting, even after Miller’s press conference.

“Based on my reporting this weekend, I have no reason to believe that anything in that article is inaccurate,” he said.

“The telephone conversations that were recorded by FBI wiretaps and the documents and financial records that were seized by the FBI during a two-year investigation remain under federal seal. If and when that seal is removed, we’ll find out what the FBI has.”

Miller denied any wrongdoing Thursday and received the support of Arizona president Robert Robbins, who said after meeting with the Arizona Board of Regents that Miller will remain as the team’s head coach.

“We have no reason to believe that Coach Miller violated NCAA rules or any laws regarding the allegation reported in the media,” Robbins said after the meeting Thursday.

There have been questions regarding the timeline of Schlabach’s report, as both 247 Sports and Sports Illustrated have reported there is doubt regarding how the events match up.

Bilas has his own doubts as to why Miller did not make similar statements before last Saturday’s game against Oregon, a game Miller did not coach or spend time with the team.

“My first question as soon as the press conference was over, I’ve been a trial lawyer for 26 years, and one of the things I thought first was why didn’t he say this on Saturday,” he said.

“There was nothing that was said now that compromises the investigation that couldn’t have been said when the report first came out.”

According to Robbins, the decision for Miller to not coach against the Ducks was based on a discussion between himself, athletic director Dave Heeke and Miller.

“Because we did not have the details — and as you can imagine, the shock of this report coming out — we thought it was in the best interest of the university, our student-athletes and Coach Miller for him to return to Tucson so we could begin what has turned out to be now a five-day intensive investigation and discussion of the facts in this matter,” Robbins said.

Miller is expected to be coaching the team at 8 p.m. on Thursday when they take on Stanford.

Penguin Air

Arizona Basketball

Head coach Bobby Hurley of the Arizona State Sun Devils looks on during the second half against the...
Arizona Sports

Pac-12 releases ASU, Arizona men’s basketball weekly matchups for 2022-23

The Arizona State men's basketball team visits Colorado, while rival Arizona heads to Utah to start the early portion of the Pac-12 schedule.
3 days ago
Pac-12 Conference commissioner George Kliavkoff speaks at Pac-12 NCAA college football media day Fr...
Arizona Sports

Pac-12, Larry Fitzgerald-backed startup to monetize highlights for NIL

The Pac-12 is entering the NIL space by partnering with a startup that will help athletes earn money from their personalized game highlights.
14 days ago
Basketballs are rolled off the court during the NCAAB game at McKale Center on January 03, 2022 in ...
Nikash Nath

CBS Sports: Wildcats among top 30 best 2021-22 sports programs

CBS Sports released rankings Monday with over 130 colleges ordered on the success of their athletic programs. 
18 days ago
Pac-12 logo on the court after a college basketball game between the Arizona State Sun Devils and t...
Arizona Sports

Report: Talks between Pac-12, Big 12 end without future partnership

The Big 12 and Pac-12 conferences have concluded talks without a future partnership, reports ESPN's Pete Thamel.
1 month ago
Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd shouts to the team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball ga...
Arizona Sports

Arizona, Duke men’s basketball set for home-and-home series in 2023-24

The Arizona and Duke men's basketball programs announced Monday their plans to hold a home-and-home series beginning in 2023.
1 month ago
Incoming Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yorkman smiles during a news conference opening the NCAA college...
Arizona Sports

Big 12 ‘exploring all options’ when asked about potential Pac-12 additions

Big 12 commissioner Brett Yorkmack said Wednesday that the conference is open to expansion when asked about the Pac-12.
1 month ago
ESPN’s Bilas: ‘I trust Mark Schlabach’s report’ on Arizona’s Sean Miller