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Arizona president stands behind Sean Miller, school awaits review process

Arizona coach Sean Miller calls out to players during the second half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Oregon State in Corvallis, Ore., Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. Arizona won 98-64. (AP Photo/Amanda Loman)

University of Arizona president Robert Robbins said Monday that Sean Miller remains the school’s head men’s basketball coach and is currently recruiting for next year.

Robbins’ comments to reporters during a weekly press conference does not change the uncertainty of Miller’s future hovering over the program.

According to the Arizona Daily Star, Robbins said he’d met with Miller since the Wildcats’ season ended but had no update about whether the school would extend or fire the head coach with his contract set to expire after next season.

The Wildcats, who went 17-9 this season, are waiting for the Independent Accountability Resolution Process (IARP) to wrap up, which could determine whether the program’s NCAA violations lead to more penalties. The school already self-imposed a postseason ban on itself for this year.

“They could have new findings,” Robbins told reporters, according to the Arizona Daily Star. “We just have to wait and find out what the final word is going to be. They could also very well eliminate some of those allegations that come forward as they look at, discuss some of the things that are in the allegations. They can be reduced.

“So we have to wait — I’m not sure what time is going to be … so that we can get past this as a university, coach Miller, his family, the basketball program and look forward.”

How long the process takes remains to be seen, but the lack of a long-term commitment to Miller could hurt his ability on the recruiting trail.

It also leaves the door open for the school to consider moving on from the head coach before next year if the IARP investigation ends and uncovers new information.

The school on Friday released the Notice of Allegations it received from the NCAA last fall, which includes five Level I violations. Four involve Miller’s program.

The school released the notice after a judge ruled in favor of a lawsuit filed by ESPN.

The charges include a lack of institutional control by the men’s basketball and swimming programs, and unethical behavior by assistant basketball coach Emanuel Richardson for accepting $20,000 in bribes.

Richardson was among 10 people arrested in an FBI investigation into college basketball and served three months in prison.

The Notice of Allegations also charged Miller with failing to promote compliance, and unethical behavior by former assistant coach Mark Phelps for asking a player to delete texts related to an impermissible $500 loan.

Phelps and Richardson also were charged with unethical recruiting conduct.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.