Xavier’s Sean Miller won’t face sanctions from Arizona case

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Xavier head coach Sean Miller faces no sanctions while two of his former assistants will serve lengthy sentences in Arizona trespass case reviewed by the Independent Accountability Resolution Process panel

In a decision announced Wednesday, the panel said the university itself received fewer sanctions, in part because of its decision to impose a post-season ban on itself for the 2021 NCAA tournament. However, the school must forfeit any wins that have two athletes participated identified as “Student-Athlete No. 1” and “Student-Athlete No. 3”. According to the panel’s ruling, the games affected by “student-athlete No. 1” took place from 2016-2018.

Arizona had been charged with five Level I violations of incidents that allegedly occurred during Miller’s tenure there. Miller faced a Level I charge that he “failed to demonstrate that he promoted an atmosphere of compliance and oversight of his staff within the basketball program.”

Former assistants Book Richardson and Mark Phelps were hit with ten-year and two-year show-cause sentences, respectively, for NCAA violations that occurred in Arizona. The panel also ruled that Arizona had “failed to audit” both its basketball and men’s swimming and diving programs, which also commit NCAA violations.

“The hearing panel found no violation for the former head basketball coach because the hearing panel found that the former head basketball coach of the men demonstrated that he promoted an atmosphere of compliance and audited two of his assistant coaches regarding the academic eligibility of prospective student basketball-athletes. , which refutes the presumption of responsibility of the head coach,” the panel’s ruling said.

Miller said the IARP ruling allows him to move forward.

“This has been a long journey and I’m glad everything is finally done,” he said in a statement on Wednesday. “I’m excited to continue. I want to thank my wife Amy and all my family, President [Colleen Hanycz] and [athletic director] Greg Christopher for their support throughout the completion of this process.”

The panel said Arizona’s decision to self-impose a postseason ban for the 2020-21 season constituted sanctions against the program for non-monitoring. The school pays a $5,000 fine and loses one scholarship to the incoming recruiting class, along with the victories vacated.

“The Independent Resolution Panel purposely did not prescribe sanctions that would adversely affect current student-athletes,” the panel said.

The 10-year show case for Richardson, who pleaded guilty in federal court to accepting a bribe to send prospects to what the FBI called “corrupt financial managers” and serving time in prison as a result, essentially bans him from the sport for the next decade. The report also stated that Richardson paid $40,000 for a fraudulent transcript to help an athlete maintain eligibility. He was the only coach in the investigation charged with Level I infractions.

The IARP panel stated that Richardson was not cooperating with the investigation.

“After his employment in Arizona was terminated, former No. 1 assistant basketball coach failed to cooperate with NCAA enforcement personnel during the investigation of violations by knowingly providing false information and refusing to disclose information pertinent to an investigation to potential violations, undermining and threat to the integrity of the NCAA collegiate model, as per the decision in the infringement case,” the panel’s ruling said.

Phelps, who is now the head coach at Prolific Prep in Napa, California, was given a two-year show case after committing Level II and Level III violations for asking a player to lie about an impermissible $500 loan, an NCAA offense and for using an Arizona player to help him recruit two prospects at a grassroots event.

Arizona chose the Independent Accountability Resolution Process over the traditional NCAA violation process. The decision of the IARP cannot be appealed.

This investigation has dragged on for the past four years after a federal wiretap captured runner Christian Dawkins and told financial adviser Munish Sood that Miller was allegedly behind a series of five-figure payments to NBA No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton. draft of 2018 whose controversial recruiting helped fuel the headlines leading to Miller’s descent into Arizona. Miller has consistently denied ever paying players.

“I have never knowingly violated NCAA rules while serving as head coach of this great program,” Miller said in a statement after a 2018 ESPN report alleged he was caught on a wiretapping discussing payments to Ayton.

Dana Welch, an IARP panelist and an arbitrator and mediator with Welch ADR in California, said Miller made an effort to emphasize the importance of compliance to his staff and his players. She also said that Phelps and Richardson were deceitful in their actions.

“The record is really full in terms of the actions the former coach took to make sure his staff and players understood the importance of compliance,” Welch said on a Zoom call following the IARP’s ruling on Wednesday. “Almost all the actions these two assistant coaches took were hidden. … in regards to [Richardson], they were criminal. In our view, these kinds of actions could not have been noticed by the head coach.”

Welch added: “We felt the information did not support the head coach’s responsibility [violations for Miller].”

In a statement to ESPN, Richardson said he deserves another chance and added that an upcoming documentary, “Open Book,” will show the changes he’s made in his life since he was arrested in 2017, along with three others. Division I basketball assistants in the federal government. research.

“With today’s release of the findings related to the University of Arizona NCAA study, I have finally closed a long and difficult chapter of my life,” he said. “Almost five-and-a-half years ago, I made a mistake and a poor judging choice. Something that has haunted me and taken away a part of my life that is extremely important to me: basketball. …

A lot has happened in the past five and a half years. I’m incarcerated at Otisville Federal Penitentiary. I spent two years under federal surveillance. The game I love has been taken away and I’ve been decimated to next to nothing. Even with this I have used this time to become a better teacher, mentor, person, friend, uncle, brother, son and father. … September 26, 2017, is truly a disgraceful day for me. A day that I can no longer let dictate and define who I am. I’m a coach. A coach who made a mistake, served my time and paid my debt to society.”

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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