Arizona has initiated an independent review and hired outside counsel in the wake and a federal probe involving one of its assistant basketball coaches.
University President Robert C. Robbins also said Tuesday that head coach Sean Miller has not been charged or accused of any misconduct in a case the led to the arrest of assistant coach Emanuel Richardson on federal bribery charges..
The school said in a statement that it has retained the law firm of Steptoe & Johnson LLP to conduct the internal review. Paul Charlton, the firm’s managing partner and Former U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, will lead the investigation.
The law firm of Jackson Lewis was retained to help the university with the Department of Justice’s investigation and potential NCAA issues in the wake of coach Richardson’s arrest with nine others last week accused of accepting bribes and paying players.
”Since arriving on campus in June, I have come to understand a great deal about our institution, specifically the incredible students, faculty, staff and supporters who make Arizona unique,” Robbins said in a letter to the community. ”But I have also taken heart in the core values that go hand-in-hand with our daily work. Those values are why I have a responsibility to all of you to discover the truth in this matter, to take action if warranted, and to ensure that our policies and practices related to athletics compliance are among the best in the nation.”
Richardson was arrested on Sept. 26 along with assistant coaches from Oklahoma State, Southern California and Auburn after a federal probe revealed hundreds of thousands of bribes to influence star athletes’ choice of schools, shoe sponsors, agents and even tailors. An Adidas marketing executive and a maker of custom suits for some of the NBA’s biggest stars also were arrested.
Richardson is accused of accepting $20,000 in bribes and using some of the money to influence at least one unidentified recruit to play at Arizona.
The university has initiated dismissal proceedings of Richardson, who will appear before a southern New York Judge on Oct. 10 after agreeing to a $50,000 personal appearance bond in Tucson last week.
”I was devastated to learn last week of the allegations made against Emanuel Richardson.” Miller said in a statement. ”I have expressed to both Dr. Robbins and our Athletic Director Dave Heeke that I fully support the University’s efforts to fully investigate these allegations. As the head basketball coach at the University of Arizona, I recognize my responsibility is not only to establish a culture of success on the basketball court and in the classroom, but as important, to promote and reinforce a culture of compliance. To the best of my ability, I have worked to demonstrate this over the past 8 years and will continue to do so as we move forward.”