Sean Miller vehemently denies ESPN allegations, will continue to coach Arizona
Sean Miller spoke publicly on Thursday about the allegations he has faced, and he vehemently denied an ESPN report that said he discussed on a wiretap paying a player to come to Arizona.
Miller read from a prepared statement and made his stance quite clear.
“We do our very best to run a clean program at the University of Arizona. I have never knowingly violated NCAA rules while serving as head coach of this great program. I have never paid a recruit or prospect or family or representative to come to Arizona. I never have and I never will,” Miller said.
He then got into the specifics of ESPN’s report, which said that Miller was caught on a wiretap talking about paying agent runner Christian Dawkins $100,000 to secure the commitment of Deandre Ayton to Arizona.
“Let me be very, very clear: I have never discussed with Christian Dawkins paying Deandre Ayton to attend the University of Arizona. In fact, I never even met or spoke to Christian Dawkins until after Ayton publicly announced he was coming to the school. Any reporting to the contrary is inaccurate, false and defamatory. … there was no such conversation.”
Not only is Miller proclaiming his innocence in the matter, but so is Ayton. An attorney for the star freshman’s family released a statement defending Ayton’s decision to attend Arizona, and said there were no payments.
Miller did not coach Arizona in the team’s game against Oregon last Saturday because of the ESPN allegations. However, Miller reportedly will coach the team on Thursday night against Stanford.
ESPN released its report about Miller on Friday. Since then, they have made a few corrections. They changed the timeline, initially reporting the phone call took place in the spring of 2017, then saying it occurred in the spring of 2016, and then saying it just happened in 2016. 247 Sports also reports that those recorded on wiretap were informed their conversations with Dawkins between June 19, 2017 and Sept. 25, 2017 were recorded. That wiretap timeline doesn’t seem to add up with Ayton, who signed with Arizona in late 2016. Additionally, many do not believe Dawkins ever had ties to Ayton.
ESPN is standing by its reporting, while Arizona seems to be standing by Miller for now.
Video of his statement is below:
Arizona Athletics and Arizona men’s basketball head coach Sean Miller meet with the media. https://t.co/8BbToFCsZ5
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) March 1, 2018