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Former UA assistant Book Richardson sentenced to 3 months in prison

FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2017, file photo, former University of Arizona assistant men's basketball coach Emanuel Richardson leaves Manhattan federal court in New York. (AP Photo/Larry Neumeister, File)

Former Arizona men’s basketball assistant coach Book Richardson was sentenced to three months in prison and two years of supervised probation Thursday, according to Adam Zagoria, who is covering the trial for the Arizona Daily Star.

Richardson is charged with “taking approximately $20,000 in cash bribes from athlete advisers in exchange for using his position to influence Arizona basketball players on his team to retain the services of the advisers paying the bribes,” according to court documents. Richardson pleaded guilty to the charge.

The sentencing is a result of an ongoing FBI investigation into illegal practices in recruiting throughout the college basketball landscape.

“I do think three months is appropriate. I have no doubt he’s a good person who has done a lot of good,” judge Edgardo Ramos said.

The news comes a day after former USC assistant coach Tony Bland was sentenced to the same amount of probation time with no prison.

Richardson is the first coach to receive jail time as a consequence of the far-reaching scandal. Former Oklahoma State assistant coach Lamont Evans will receive sentencing Friday while former Auburn assistant coach Chuck Person’s sentencing is expected later this year.

Richardson was accused of bribery, fraud and other corruption in the scandal. Wiretaps played during the trial had Richardson making claims that current head coach Sean Miller had discussed making payments to former Wildcats star Deandre Ayton in order to gain his commitment to the school.

Miller’s name came up in the press conference after the sentencing.

The school’s general counsel said Wednesday that the school is “facing the prospect of potentially significant sanctions and penalties from the NCAA flowing from the unlawful actions involved in this case.”