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ESPN: Former UA assistant Book Richardson says Sean Miller paid Deandre Ayton $10K a month

Posted at 10:19 AM, May 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-01 21:00:32-04

NEW YORK — In a recording played in federal court Wednesday, former Arizona basketball assistant coach Emanuel "Book" Richardson is heard saying Sean Miller was paying former player Deandre Ayton $10,000 per month while attending the university.

According to a report from ESPN, the call took place on June 20, 2017, and was intercepted by wiretaps.

During the phone call, Richardson and aspiring agent Christian Dawkins were discussing how to recruit Ayton to Dawkins' sports management company, which led to them discussing payments to Ayton.

ESPN transcribed the tape played for the jury:

"We'll see how Sean plays it out," Dawkins said.

"You know what he bought per month?" Richardson asked.

"What he do?" Dawkins said.

"I told you --10," Richardson replied.

"He's putting up some real money for them (expletive)," Dawkins responded. "He told me he's getting killed."

"But that's his fault," Richardson said.

In the 2017-2018 season, Miller claimed he never had a conversation like the one Dawkins describes.

"Let me be very, very clear," Miller said. "I have never discussed with Christian Dawkins paying Deandre Ayton to attend the University of Arizona."

On April 19, A federal judge ruled that Miller will not testify in this ongoing college basketball bribery trial.

A University of Arizona representative released the following statement Wednesday in response to the new developments:

"The University of Arizona takes the information presented in court today very seriously and remains committed to the highest standards of integrity and ethical conduct which includes competing within the rules of the NCAA and the PAC-12 Conference. We will continue to cooperate fully with the NCAA and with other ongoing investigations into this matter in the best interest of the University and the men's basketball program."