Arizona assistant agrees to plea deal on bribery charges
Former Arizona assistant coach Emanuel Richardson has reached an agreement with New York prosecutors to plead guilty to one count of federal funds bribery at a hearing later this month.
Craig Murdock, Richardson’s New Orleans-based attorney, said Monday the plea agreement for the Jan. 22 hearing contains a stipulated sentencing guidelines range of 18 to 24 months, though the sentence is up to the judge.
Murdock added the plea is not part of a deal requiring him to cooperate against others, but that could always change. Richardson also could change his mind prior to the hearing and not plead guilty.
“Mr. Richardson is remorseful about what transpired,” Murdock said. “It’s a hiccup in a career in which he’s had a positive effect on many young men in and out of basketball. This is something he did. It’s not who he is.”
A spokesman for the prosecutors declined comment.
Richardson was among 10 people arrested as part of a federal probe into college basketball recruiting practices in September 2017, including assistant coaches at four prominent schools.
Former Southern California assistant coach Tony Bland pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery last Wednesday, admitting he accepted $4,100 in cash to steer players at the school to certain financial advisers and business managers.
Former Auburn assistant coach Chuck Person and another man are scheduled to go on trial next month. Richardson was supposed to go on trial with former Oklahoma State assistant Lamont Evans in April.
Richardson was accused of accepting $20,000 in bribes and using that money to entice a recruit to attend Arizona. Murdock says the plea pertains to a $20,000 payment Richardson received.
Richardson has been out of work for 18 months, Murdock said.
“He just wants to get on with his life,” Murdock said.
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