Arizona’s men’s basketball program has self-imposed a one-year postseason ban, the school announced Tuesday.
The decision comes as a result of the NCAA investigation stemming from the 2017 federal investigation into corruption in college basketball and college basketball recruiting. ESPN and The Athletic reported in October that Arizona had been hit with nine NCAA violations, including five Level I allegations. The Athletic reported that Arizona was charged with lack of institutional control and failure to monitor, and head coach Sean Miller was charged with lack of head coach control.
Arizona received its notice of allegations from the NCAA in October and requested a referral of its case to the recently created Independent Accountability Resolution Process.
“The University of Arizona is self-imposing a one-year postseason ban on the UA Men’s Basketball program as a proactive measure in its ongoing NCAA enforcement process,” the school said in a statement. “The decision is an acknowledgement that the NCAA’s investigation revealed that certain former members of the MBB staff displayed serious lapses in judgment and a departure from the University’s expectation of honest and ethical behavior. It is also in accord with the penalty guidelines of the NCAA for the type of violations involved. This decision also reinforces the institution’s commitment to accountability and integrity as well as serving the best long-term interests of the University and the Men’s Basketball program.”
Former Arizona assistant coach Emanuel “Book” Richardson pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to commit bribery after being accused of accepting $20,000 to steer Arizona players to aspiring sports agent Christian Dawkins and financial advisers close to Dawkins. During Dawkins’ trial, prosecutors played a call in which Richardson told Dawkins that Miller was paying $10,000 a month for former player Deandre Ayton. Miller has consistently denied paying players to attend Arizona.
There were further allegations involving former player Rawle Alkins, and Arizona indefinitely suspended former assistant coach Mark Phelps in 2019 due to an alleged NCAA rules violation.
“The decision to self-impose a postseason ban was extremely difficult, as we recognize the impact that it has on our current student-athletes,” athletic director Dave Heeke said in a statement. “We will continue to cooperate fully with the NCAA enforcement process and continue to support the hard-working young men in our Men’s Basketball program.”
Arizona improved to 7-1 (1-1 in the Pac-12) after its 14-point home win over Colorado on Monday. The postseason ban includes the Pac-12 tournament, so Arizona’s season will end against rival Arizona State on March 6.
“I understand and fully support the University’s decision to self-impose a one-year postseason ban on our Men’s Basketball program,” Miller said in a statement. “Our team will remain united and aggressively compete to win a PAC-12 championship.”
Auburn announced shortly before the season started that it was self-imposing a postseason ban for this season.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.