Under NCAA guidelines, the most serious violation a school can commit is a Level I violation. These typically “undermine the integrity of college sports” and pretty much mean somebody’s ass is about to be fired.
So using that as a preface, the Arizona Wildcats are in some serious shit, according to The Athletic:
The University of Arizona was served with nine allegations of misconduct, five of which are classified as Level I violations, in the Notice of Allegations that the NCAA sent to the school on Oct. 21, The Athletic has learned. The Level I allegations, which fall in the most serious category, include a lack of institutional control and failure to monitor by the university; a lack of head coach control by men’s basketball coach Sean Miller; and a lack of head coach control by Augie Busch, the women’s swimming and diving coach.
For those keeping track at home, this would make Arizona the eighth school—others include Kansas, Lousiville and USC—to acknowledge publicly that yep, they’ve received an NCAA notice of allegations “related to information obtained from a federal investigation into bribes and other misconduct,” per ESPN.
There’s also this juicy bit of detail:
The details of the [Notice of Allegations] were included in a letter to the NCAA from Arizona’s outside counsel, Paul Kelly, requesting that the school’s infractions case be referred to the newly created Independent Accountability Resolution Process. On Friday, Arizona released a statement acknowledging it had received a Notice of Allegations. Busch’s involvement in the case has not been previously reported.
In his letter requesting the referral, Kelly notes the nine allegations are greater than the number of violations alleged in any of the cases that have emerged as a result of the investigation into college basketball conducted by the U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of New York.
Basically, the Wildcats are fucked.
Also of note, former assistant coaches Book Richardson and Mark Phelps refused to speak with NCAA investigators after they were dismissed by the school. And if those names sound familiar, it’s probably because Richardson was one of four assistant coaches who pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to commit a bribery charge in 2019. He was accused of accepting $20,000 in order to convince Arizona players to hire certain financial advisers and managers once they turned pro. For his crimes, he was sentenced to three months in prison and an additional two years of probation.
The Arizona board of regents has a special meeting scheduled for Monday, so expect heads to roll sooner than later. For his part, Miller has denied any involvement in any illegal activities thus far (yeah fucking right) but The Athletic’s Stewart Mandel summed this all up pretty well.
“Sean Miller’s managed to hang on to his job this long,” he tweeted. “But hard to see how he outlives this.”
Four-star recruit Shane Dezonie might want to rethink his recent decision to play for the Wildcats. Because not only will they be not be playing in any postseason tournaments anytime soon, but expect Miller to get the axe any day now.