Sean Miller tells reporter to 'drive back to Phoenix' after questions regarding corruption trial

Posted at 11:24 AM, Feb 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-27 06:50:20-05

TUCSON, AZ — Arizona Wildcats men's basketball coach Sean Miller has been notified that he will be subpoenaed for the upcoming federal trial regarding corruption in college basketball, Yahoo Sports reported Monday.

At a press conference Tuesday, ABC15's Mike Pelton attempted to ask Miller about the subpoena, but was not given the chance to finish any of his questions.

Yahoo Sports reported Miller, along with LSU men's basketball coach Will Wade, have been told they will be subpoenaed for the trial set to begin April 22.

Earlier in February, Yahoo Sports reported a formal NCAA inquiry into UA men's basketball stemming from a lengthy FBI investigation into NCAA college hoops is underway.

Per Yahoo Sports:

The impending subpoenas mark a potentially dynamic development in the college basketball corruption case. It creates the potential of two high-profile head coaches testifying in federal court about the granular detail of the recruiting underworld – something that never manifested in the initial federal trial last fall. It raises thorny questions for the public universities that employ them, as both the optics of potentially testifying in federal court about basketball recruiting and potential answers that could be given under oath will be a likely cause of consternation for Arizona and LSU administrators.

Former UA assistant coach Emanuel "Book" Richardson pleaded guilty to a federal bribery charge last month following an FBI investigation that exposed corruption in college basketball recruiting. The plea came two weeks after Richardson reportedly reached a plea agreement with prosecutors.

The Arizona Board of Regents has held several special meetings in recent months to discuss and obtain legal advice about the future of UA men's basketball. ABOR, along with UA president Robert Robbins and athletic director Dave Heeke, met in November following the conclusion of a trial in which three men were convicted of fraud for channeling secret payments to the families of top recruits. During that trial, UA was accused by multiple witnesses of offering, or preparing to offer, money for various recruits.

Richardson was one of four NCAA basketball coaches arrested and charged with felony fraud and bribery in 2017 following the FBI's lengthy investigation. No charges were brought against Miller, but in February, ESPN's Mark Schlabach reported FBI wiretaps caught Miller discussing a $100,000 payment to prized recruit and current Suns rookie Deandre Ayton. Miller made a statement calling the report false and defamatory, and multiple media outlets have questioned the timeline of Schlabach's report.

Miller has received the backing of Robbins and Heeke, and he is now in his 10th season as UA's head men's basketball coach. In April, Miller's contract was amended so that he would forfeit $1 million if he is charged for a crime related to his employment or is found guilty of committing a Level 1 NCAA violation.