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Ex-Arizona Assistant Book Richardson Pleads Guilty to Bribery Charge

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 7, 2019

Arizona's assistant coach Book Richardson, left, and Nick Johnson (13) stand and watch the game from the bench as Arizona plays New Mexico State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013 in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/John MIller)
JOHN MILLER/Associated Press

Former Arizona assistant basketball coach Emanuel "Book" Richardson pled guilty to one count of federal funds bribery Monday in connection to the college basketball fraud scandal, according to Pat Forde, Pete Thamel and Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports. 

Richardson originally faced up to 60 years in prison for his charges, but will now face a sentence of 18-24 months. 

"Book Richardson has positively affected the lives of young men and encouraged them to reach their potential for 25 years," attorney Craig Mordoch said. "While he will be judged for his actions in this case, this is something he did. It is not who he is."

The former coach was accused of taking $20,000 in bribes from Christian Dawkins to help steer players toward his agency when they left for the NBA.

Dawkins was found guilty of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud in October, along with Adidas executives Jim Gatto and Merl Code. All three of them facing sentencing in March.

Meanwhile, former USC assistant Tony Bland pled guilty to bribery earlier this month and will reportedly now face probation instead of prison time. He admitted to taking $4,100 in bribes.

Former Oklahoma State assistant Lamont Evans and former Auburn assistant Chuck Person are also facing trials in 2019 and have not yet agreed to a plea deal.

This entire situation centers around the FBI's investigation into corruption in college basketball, including "pay-for-play" tactics to get recruits to commit to specific schools.

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