The Drive with Jody Oehler

The Drive with Jody Oehler

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An Open Letter to Sean Miller

Dear Sean,

I believe you to be a man of integrity and honest. You’ve earned the benefit of the doubt from me.

But Arizona fans are reeling. Right now, it doesn’t feel like the House that Lute Built, it feels more like the House the FBI Tore Down.

This isn’t A Players Program. It’s A Players Bought Program right now.

Everyone wants to hear from you. What did you know? When did you know? How could you not know? Did you really work for 11 years with a guy and not suspect he was capable of this level of corruption? Were there other coaches involved?

Perhaps your ambition to finally achieve Final Four success corrupted your professional moral compass? Maybe you had a moment like Barry Bonds allegedly did when he told Ken Griffey Jr he was going to start using some “hard-core stuff” after seeing what it did for (allegedly) Mark McGwire? But instead of steroids, you were sick of seeing the cheating, bribing and reckless breaking of NCAA rules all around you with little consequence and instead of staying above, you dove right in and quickly sunk to the bottom?

Maybe this is more standard operating procedure in high level college basketball and you can’t honestly speak without implicating every coaching friend you have in the industry? Your best hope seems to rest on this is the first wave amidst a series of tsunamis that are making their way towards college basketball land and at the end we won’t remember what triggered all the devastation only how much of it there is.

Maybe the fiercely proud, intelligent head coach I got to know knows nothing about any of this?

Maybe the pride of your last name, steeped in generations of coaches known for no-nonsense, hard nosed success was all the reason you needed to never knowingly indulge in such professional moral rot?

Maybe you’ve been conned by some of your closest coaches who decided their own personal gain was worth the risk of everything you’ve ever worked for?

Maybe you knew about all of it; maybe you knew about none of it.

You’re the only one that knows the answer to any of these questions. But considering this is an ongoing investigation involving the FBI, odds are even when you do finally speak you won’t be able to tell us much at all.

So here’s my one simple request, Sean, whenever you do speak: Don’t lie to our faces.

Don’t go down the same dark, deplorable path that Rick Pitino appears to have wandered down.

Don’t follow the likes of so many cheaters in sports who were caught and held press conferences and flaunted lawyers and LIED to everyone’s faces with zero remorse.

Don’t join a pantheon of disgraced athletes whose acts after being caught cheating were worse than any of their actual cheating acts.

Don’t let Miller be synonymous with Braun and Bonds and Armstrong and Jones and Sosa and all the others.

Don’t further embarrass yourself, your family, your team and a very proud University of Arizona basketball program by trying to lie your way to forgiveness and more fat paychecks.

Be accountable. Own it. Whatever it is.

In all my experiences with you, you’ve earned the right to be believed.

Tell the truth.

It’s the only thing harder in sports than winning.

And at this point, it’s your only chance of ever winning again.

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