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Sean Miller would lose $1 million if criminally charged, per amended contract

Sean Miller would lose $1 million if criminally charged, per amended contract
Posted at 1:05 PM, Apr 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-04 21:31:05-04

The Arizona Board of Regents is set to vote this week on an amendment to University of Arizona men's basketball coach Sean Miller's contract, in which Miller would forfeit $1 million if he is criminally charged for a crime related to his employment or is found guilty of committing a Level 1 NCAA violation.

The $1 million would be taken from stock provided to Miller through a private donor, known as a "longevity bonus" that is scheduled be paid to him in two years.

"I think it’s a really positive move by all. I commend Sean for his desire to go this direction, as well," University of Arizona athletics director Dave Heeke said about the contract change during Wednesday's Wildcat Country podcast.

The amended contract comes after ESPN reported in late February that FBI wiretaps revealed Miller discussing a $100,000 payment to prized UA recruit Deandre Ayton. Five months earlier, former UA assistant basketball coach Emanuel "Book" Richardson was arrested after allegedly accepting bribes from undercover FBI agents.

Following the ESPN report, Miller issued a statement in which he denied any wrongdoing, and an attorney conducting an internal investigation for UA said claims against Ayton are "false and unfounded."

Heeke made it clear that the amended contract was a mutual decision between Miller and the university.

"I think it’s an important thing for everyone to understand that both Sean and the athletic department have really come together here to say, hey, let’s send a strong statement. This is who we are. This is what we are," he said. 

"We’ve seen Sean out in the media. We’ve seen Sean vehemently deny many of these things. I think this is another opportunity that we say, hey, we’re in this together. This is a partnership, and also, we believe in each other, and we’re willing to put something contractually on paper that says that’s the way we feel."

In February 2017, the Board of Regents approved a contract extension for Miller that runs through May 2022. Per USA Today, Miller is scheduled to make just over $4 million in 2018.