The Arizona basketball program received an official notice of allegations from the NCAA on Sunday, per a report from The Athletic. These allegations stem from the ongoing FBI investigation that has been at the forefront for a few years. The NCAA presented nine charges in total, five of which were Level I violations. Level I is reserved for the most serious charges a program can receive. While Arizona’s involvement in the scandal isn’t new, the official NOAs are the worst that have been served to any program that has been mentioned in the scandal thus far.
Arizona Basketball Receives Notice of Allegations
The nine total charges are more than any other program has received thus far in relation to the FBI investigation. The other schools to receive official NOAs are Oklahoma State, North Carolina State, LSU, Memphis, and Kansas. Some of the Level I allegations include a lack of institutional control, failure to monitor by the university, and a lack of head coach control alleged against Sean Miller. Lack of institutional control and failure to monitor are fairly standard when most high-level cases are presented. However, the lack of head coach control appears to be a potentially serious blow to Coach Miller.
Arizona is involved in the scandal by way of former assistant coach Book Richardson. Richardson was arrested as part of a host of assistant coaches who are accused of using their power to direct players to financial advisors. This was all made public back in 2017. Richardson eventually pled guilty for accepting bribes and has served a prison term.
Sean Miller’s Involvement and Future
Sean Miller’s role was also highly publicized when it was reported that he was caught on an FBI wiretap talking about a payment for former Arizona basketball player Deandre Ayton. The university suspended Miller for one game in 2018, but that is the only form of punishment he has faced thus far. With the charge against him in the recent notice of allegations, it appears his battle with the NCAA is far from over. Many have pegged this situation as a ticking timebomb, though Miller continues to seemingly escape major penalties.
Arizona now has 90 days to respond to the allegations, and the NCAA will have 60 days to give an official address to that response once it is presented. Many eyes will continue to be on the Arizona situation as well as the other schools that have received their notices. Time will tell if the NCAA is willing to levy severe penalties to some of the best basketball programs that they have.