Sean Miller, the head basketball coach at the University of Arizona, will not be on the bench when the Wildcats take on Oregon on Saturday night. Miller has reportedly informed his players of the decision, which comes one day after the Wildcats’ basketball coach found himself at the center of the FBI’s investigation into the seedy underbelly of college hoops.
The news was first reported by Greg Hansen of the Arizona Daily Star and was confirmed by Jeff Goodman of ESPN.
According to a report that surfaced late on Friday night, Miller was caught via a wiretap discussing a $100,000 payment for the Wildcats’ star center and the potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Deandre Ayton. Miller reportedly spoke to Christian Dawkins, who has been at the center of the FBI’s probe since it was announced last year, on multiple occasions.
There is no word on whether Ayton’s status for the game will be impacted, nor is it clear if Miller not coaching was his own decision or a mandate from the university. There is also no official word on whether Miller’s job is in jeopardy, but according to a report by Darren Rovell of ESPN, Arizona is in for a massive financial investment if it decides to cite the ongoing controversy as reason to fire him.
Miller has been Arizona’s head coach since 2009, and has accrued a 242-72 record with the program. The Wildcats are 22-6 this year, and are currently projected to receive a 4-seed in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, according to Joe Lunardi of ESPN.
UPDATE: Arizona and Miller have both commented on the situation, with the Wildcats saying that Ayton is eligible and will suit up against the Ducks.