ESPN: Arizona Board of Regents won’t commit to Sean Miller’s job security

Nov 2, 2018, 1:56 PM | Updated: 8:45 pm

Arizona head coach Sean Miller in the first half during an NCAA college basketball game against Uta...

Arizona head coach Sean Miller in the first half during an NCAA college basketball game against Utah, Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Despite Arizona Board of Regents member Bill Ridenour’s claim that Arizona head coach Sean Miller’s job is safe, the board’s chairman doesn’t believe the situation to be so clear-cut.

Chairman Ron Shoopman told ESPN that Ridenour’s comments to the Arizona Republic on Wednesday were not completely accurate and that his committee is unwilling to commit to the protection of Miller’s position.

“We never made a statement to that effect,” Shoopman said to ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura.

The Arizona Board of Regents held a private meeting with University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins and athletic director Dave Heeke on Thursday at the Arizona State University downtown campus to offer “legal advice and discussion regarding University of Arizona Men’s Basketball.”

With the Wildcats as one of the focal points in ongoing federal investigations regarding unethical college basketball recruiting, Miller’s name has been at the center of national attention.

The Wildcats were named in a federal trial in which three colluders were convicted for felony conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Among those convicted was former runner Christian Dawkins, who has been mentioned in conjunction with Arizona’s alleged plans to pay recruits.

It was revealed during the trial that Dawkins and Miller made contact over the phone 13 times between May 3, 2017 and July 2, 2017. This aligned with the recruitment timeline of highly-touted prospect Brian Bowen II, who’s currently a member of the Sidney Kings in Australia’s National Basketball League.

Bowen’s father, Brian Bowen Sr., claimed during the trial that former Wildcats assistant Joe Pasternack made an offer of $50,000 for Bowen’s commitment to join Arizona’s basketball program. It was later suggested that Arizona was also prepared to offer $150,000 for the commitment of combo guard Nassir Little, who opted to sign with UNC instead.

“Is it concerning to us, what’s going on in the national stage? You bet,” Shoopman said to Bonagura. “We are as concerned as you are, but you have our pledge that we will take action when action is warranted, and we’re aggressively pursuing the facts as we look into all of this.”

Dawkins was linked to Arizona in the initial ESPN report that broke about Arizona’s alleged plan to pay $100,000 to the Phoenix Suns’ No. 1 overall pick, Deandre Ayton.

After allegedly accepting bribes from and working alongside Dawkins, former Arizona assistant Emanuel “Book” Richardson will head to trial in April to face two counts of fraud and charges of soliciting bribes as an agent of a federally funded organization. The NCAA could begin it’s own investigation after the Richardson trial.

With Miller at the helm, Arizona began the season with a 95-44 blowout victory over Western New Mexico in an exhibition held at McKale Center in Tucson. Regardless of the noise generated by the Wildcats’ off-court antics, the team is prepared to tackle the rejuvenated Pac-12 headlined by a brand new core.

Arizona will host Chaminade for the second and final exhibition game of the preseason on Sunday.


Arizona Basketball

Arizona basketball coach Tommy Lloyd...

Arizona Sports

Report: Big 12’s Arizona, Big Ten’s UCLA finalizing men’s basketball series

The loss of the Pac-12 brought the loss of rivalries. The Arizona Wildcats and UCLA Bruins men's basketball teams are keeping theirs intact.

2 days ago

Chip Hale...

Ryan Pasiecznik

Arizona baseball’s Chip Hale wins Pac-12 Coach of the Year

Arizona Wildcats baseball coach Chip Hale was named the Pac-12 Coach of the Year for the 2024 season.

3 days ago

KJ Lewis...

Nick Borgia

KJ Lewis announces return to Arizona for sophomore season

Arizona basketball guard KJ Lewis announced his official return to the Wildcats for his sophomore season in a social media post Friday.

7 days ago

Wide receiver Elijhah Badger #2 of the Arizona State Sun Devils catches a 65-yard touchdown recepti...

Arizona Sports

Former ASU WR Elijhah Badger transfers to Florida after considering Arizona

Former Arizona State wide receiver Elijhah Badger is transferring to Florida, choosing the SEC school after considering Arizona.

7 days ago

Arizona State center commit Jayden Quaintance...

Ryan Pasiecznik

ASU’s Jayden Quaintance among Arizona connections on USA Basketball U18 camp roster

Newly signed Arizona State basketball recruit Jayden Quaintance was among 30 participants named to the USA Basketball U18 camp roster.

8 days ago

Arizona Wildcats guard Pelle Larsson...

Kevin Zimmerman

Pelle Larsson receives praise after NBA Draft Combine performances

Arizona Wildcats wing Pelle Larsson hovered in the peripherals of NBA scouts over the past two years to earn an invite to the draft combine.

8 days ago

ESPN: Arizona Board of Regents won’t commit to Sean Miller’s job security