FBI wiretaps caught Arizona coach Sean Miller discussing paying $100,000 to ensure five-star freshman Deandre Ayton would enroll and play for the Wildcats, according to a report late Friday from ESPN.
ESPN reported wiretaps caught Miller discussing Ayton multiple times with Christian Dawkins, a key figure in the FBI’s investigation into college basketball corruption. Dawkins is the 24-year-old associate who worked for former NBA agent Andy Miller and had his transactional records exposed earlier Friday in a Yahoo Sports report.
According to the ESPN report, when Dawkins asked Miller if he should work with assistant coach Emanuel “Book” Richardson to finalize an agreement, Miller told Dawkins he should instead deal directly with him when it came to money. Richardson was one of four Division I assistants arrested in September. The New York native was charged with six felonies and is now facing up to 60 years in prison. He was fired in January.
Ayton is averaging 19.6 points and 10.9 rebounds for Arizona. He’s likely to be selected in the top three of the 2018 NBA Draft.
CBS Sports’ request for comment from Arizona was not immediately returned.
Arizona plays at Oregon on Saturday night.