Arizona men’s basketball self-imposes 1-year postseason ban

The Arizona men’s basketball program has self-imposed a one-year postseason ban related to its long-running NCAA rules infractions case

TUCSON, Ariz. — The Arizona men’s basketball program has self-imposed a one-year postseason ban related to its long-running NCAA rules infractions case.

Arizona was accused of nine counts of misconduct, including five Level I violations, in a Notice of Allegations sent by the NCAA in October. The violations include a lack of institutional control and failure to monitor by the university, and lack of head coach control by basketball coach Sean Miller.

The school announced the one-year ban Tuesday.

“The decision is an acknowledgement that the NCAA’s investigation revealed that certain former members of the MBB staff displayed serious lapses in judgment and a departure from the University’s expectation of honest and ethical behavior,” the school said in a statement. “It is also in accord with the penalty guidelines of the NCAA for the type of violations involved.”

Arizona is off to a 7-1 start this season, including a 1-1 mark in the Pac-12, but won’t have the opportunity to play in the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats have a revamped roster after freshmen stars Josh Green, Zeke Nnaji and Nico Mannion were all selected in the NBA draft.

“I understand and fully support the University’s decision to self-impose a one-year post season ban on our men’s basketball program,” Miller said in a statement. “Our team will remain united and aggressively compete to win a Pac-12 championship.”

Arizona had been in the NCAA’s crosshairs since 2017, when assistant coach Emanuel Richardson was among 10 people arrested as part of a federal corruption investigation into college basketball.

Richardson was fired by the university and later pleaded guilty to accepting $20,000 in bribes from aspiring business manager Christian Dawkins. He was sentenced to three months in prison in 2019.

Miller sat out a game in 2018 after ESPN reported that he was heard on an FBI wiretap discussing a $100,000 payment to future No. 1 overall NBA pick Deandre Ayton. Miller vehemently denied the report and university President Robert C. Robbins announced a few days later that Miller would remain the Wildcats’ coach.

Arizona was one of a dozen schools connected to the federal probe or that acknowledged it was under investigation, including Oklahoma State, Kansas, Louisville, Alabama, Auburn, Creighton, LSU, NC State, South Carolina, TCU and Southern California.

Most of the schools are still in the midst of having their cases adjudicated.

Oklahoma State was the first to be punished by the NCAA in the wake of the investigation. Over the summer, the Cowboys were banned from the 2021 postseason and received numerous other penalties after the NCAA infractions committee found former Oklahoma State assistant coach Lamont Evans accepted up to $22,000 in bribes to steer athletes to certain financial advisers.

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AP College Basketball writer John Marshall contributed to this story.

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More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP—Top25

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