The Drive with Jody Oehler

The Drive with Jody Oehler

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Why Latest Sean Miller Allegation is Different

The latest developments in the college basketball trial of Christian Dawkins continue to raise questions about University of Arizona basketball and head coach Sean Miller.

This morning, an FBI wiretap was played where Sean Miller’s longest tenured assistant coach (who’s already pled guilty in the case) claimed in a phone conversation with Christian Dawkins that Sean Miller was paying Deandre Ayton $10,000 a month to play for the Wildcats

This allegation is different from all the other circumstantial evidence that has piled up against Arizona and Sean Miller over the last few months.

First, its not Dawkins making the claim. Dawkins credibility is dubious at best and many of the claims he’s made on wiretap could be construed more as boasts or outright lies to try and con other coaches and players into joining his scheme.

This is Book Richardson, who despite reports of personal tension between the two before the FBI involvement, was still Sean Miller’s longest tenured assistant coach. His claims would seem to carry far more credibility than Dawkins or anyone else.

Additionally, Richardson’s claims that Miller was paying players directly would seem to answer the question of why Miller has not been charged. Unless Miller was incredibly reckless with the payments, its likely he could make the payments without any sort of paper trail.

Lastly, a representative of the outside counsel that the University of Arizona hired for their own investigation has been attending every day of the trial. It doesn’t really matter what the public and fanbase for Arizona thinks; the judgement of the legal counsel will likely determine Arizona’s next steps, not the NCAA.

The only shred of hope to hang on to if you are an Arizona fan is the fact that the FBI and NCAA have already cleared Deandre Ayton and Rawle Alkins. Furthermore, Miller has faced zero charges himself which would indicate the FBI has never believed they had enough evidence to prove he was actually directly involved.

In that scenario, you’d have to assume that Book Richardson, Christian Dawkins and any other connection to Arizona were a bunch of rogue operators that were either spreading lies about Sean Miller and Arizona or making assumptions that could never actually be proven.

Needless to say, Arizona is a long way from putting this in the rear view mirror and the actions of the athletic department over the next few days/weeks should be very telling.

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