The University of Arizona Board of Regents has called a special meeting for Thursday afternoon to receive legal advice and discuss the men’s basketball program and the contract of head coach Sean Miller.
The board announced in an official agenda notice Wednesday afternoon that it would hold the 4 p.m. ET meeting for “legal advice and discussion regarding University of Arizona men’s basketball and the multiple-year employment contract for the head men’s basketball coach.”
The meeting is not open to the public.
Miller doesn’t coach Arizona game amid probe
Sean Miller didn’t coach Arizona’s loss Saturday to Oregon in the wake of an ESPN report that detailed his involvement in a discussion to pay star freshman Deandre Ayton $100,000 to attend the school. Ayton scored 28 points in Saturday’s game.
Sources: Sean Miller talked payment on wiretap
FBI wiretaps intercepted multiple conversations between Arizona basketball coach Sean Miller and sports agent Christian Dawkins in which Miller discussed a $100,000 payment to ensure star freshman Deandre Ayton signed with the Wildcats, sources told ESPN.
Miller has not coached his team since the release of an ESPN report tying him to an alleged conversation heard on an FBI wiretap discussing a $100,000 payment to current freshman Deandre Ayton.
Miller issued a statement saying he believes it is in the best interest of the team to sit out and is “confident that I will be vindicated.”
Sarah Harper, spokesman for the Arizona Board of Regents, told ESPN any action on Miller’s status as head coach would have to come at a later meeting.
“This meeting is not noticed for any action,” Harper said.
Miller makes $2.6 million per year, and his contract expires in 2022. Miller would receive just over $5 million if he were to be fired without cause. It’s unclear how much Miller would receive from the school if it decides to fire him with cause due to vague language in his current contract.
Last week, ESPN’s Mark Schlabach reported FBI wiretaps connected to the massive bribery scandal that has rocked college basketball in the past six months had allegedly recorded Miller discussing a $100,000 payment with ASM employee Christian Dawkins, who was arrested in the federal probe, to secure the services of Ayton, a Wooden Award candidate.
Both Lynden B. Rose, Ayton’s family attorney, and Paul V. Kelly, the former assistant U.S. attorney hired to handle matters with the FBI and the Department of Justice, said Ayton never accepted any money from any source.
Rose told ESPN on Monday that Ayton and his family “couldn’t pick Dawkins out of a lineup” because they’ve never met him. And Kelly said the projected top-three pick in this summer’s NBA draft was interviewed by FBI and NCAA officials prior to the season. Those interviews, according to Kelly, did not produce “a shred of evidence” that would compromise Ayton’s eligibility.
Ayton did not speak with FBI or NCAA officials under oath, according to Kelly.