Sean Miller Contract Has $1M Fine for Major NCAA Violation Added Amid FBI Probe

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 6, 2018

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 08:  Head coach Sean Miller of the Arizona Wildcats directs his team against the Colorado Buffaloes during a quarterfinal game of the Pac-12 basketball tournament at T-Mobile Arena on March 8, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)
Leon Bennett/Getty Images

The University of Arizona Board of Regents approved amendments to the contract of Wildcats head basketball coach Sean Miller that could see him lose $1 million in longevity fund shares if he's charged with a crime or determined to have committed a Level I NCAA violation. 

On Friday, Bruce Pascoe of the Arizona Daily Star provided details of the changes to Miller's contract, which also includes "tighter Title IX language." Wildcats athletic director Dave Heeke said the coach agreed to the new terms amid the FBI investigation into alleged corruption in college basketball.

"I'm appreciative to coach Miller for stepping up and putting some skin in this," school president Robert Robbins said. "He put his money where his mouth was. We support coach Miller through a very difficult time and we look forward to him having great success and being our coach for a long time."

In February, Mark Schlabach of ESPN.com reported FBI wiretaps intercepted telephone conversations that featured Miller talking about a $100,000 payment to secure a commitment from superstar recruit DeAndre Ayton, who played for the Wildcats during the 2017-18 season.

The viability of that account is unclear, though.

Michael McCann of Sports Illustrated received information from a source that stated the FBI wiretaps didn't begin until 2017, and Ayton committed to the Wildcats in September 2016. In addition, the source told SI there were no discussions between Miller and Christian Dawkins, the other individual involved in the alleged call, about Ayton.

In early March, Miller maintained he didn't commit any illegal acts.

"Let me be very very clear: I have never discussed with Christian Dawkins paying Deandre Ayton to attend the University of Arizona," Miller told reporters. "In fact, I never even met or spoke to Christian Dawkins until after Deandre publicly announced he was coming to our school. Any reporting to the contrary is inaccurate, false and defamatory."

The Wildcats' season came to an end with an 89-68 upset loss to Buffalo in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Ayton has since declared for the 2018 NBA draft.


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