Bombshell Allegations Against Miller Leave University Of Arizona Men's Basketball In Limbo
University of Arizona head basketball coach Sean Miller was allegedly caught discussing a $100,000 payment to secure a recruit. FBI wiretaps intercepted Miller’s phone calls about star freshman Deandre Ayton.
Both the university and Miller issued statements Saturday after the bombshell allegations, saying it would be in the best interests of the school and the team for Miller to not coach the game that night in Eugene, Ore., against Pac-12 rival Oregon.
Associate head coach Lorenzo Romar coached the team in Miller's place, and he spoke after the game, which the 14th-ranked Wildcats lost 98-93 in overtime.
“It’s difficult, but kids are pretty resilient at this age,” Romar said. "I also think Coach Miller has done a phenomenal job of keeping things together."
Ayton, a 7-foot-1 center who is a contender for national Player of the Year honors, was permitted to play Saturday. He led the team with 28 points and 18 rebounds.
As of Sunday afternoon, there was no word on Miller's status or whether he might resume coaching the team. But Arizona Board of Regents chairman Bill Ridenour released a statement Saturday, expressing concern about the allegations.
“The Arizona Board of Regents is very concerned by the media reports regarding allegations against the University of Arizona Men’s Basketball," Ridenour's statement said. "The board met in emergency executive session today to receive legal advice regarding the issue and plans to reconvene for updates and legal advice in the coming days."
Ridenour said the board is confident that UA President Robert Robbins will uphold the university's commitment to its core values, and promised the board will do the same.
"This is an emotionally charged issue but it is essential that we move forward decisively and based on facts," Ridenour said. "We must do everything we can to ensure that our programs are of the highest caliber as we must also protect the rights of all involved and respect due process for employees."