Arizona confirms receipt of official NCAA allegations in college basketball bribery scandal

UA notice of allegations

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The University of Arizona confirmed on Friday, Oct. 23, that it had received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA.

A statement released by the university said, “The University of Arizona has received a Notice of Allegations (NOA) issued by the NCAA enforcement staff. However, in order to protect the integrity of the ongoing enforcement process, the University is not releasing the NOA at this time.”

The Arizona Board of Regents released a statement saying it would meet to discuss the latest development in an investigation related to a bribery scandal.

"The Arizona Board of Regents will meet in executive session next week to discuss the NCAA’s Notice of Allegations issued to the University of Arizona. The board recognizes that the issuance by the NCAA of a Notice of Allegations is another step in its comprehensive enforcement process. Maintaining the integrity of the process, while frustratingly slow, has been and remains essential and we look forward to an expeditious resolution. The board has confidence in President Robbins and his commitment to the highest integrity in academic and athletic matters.”

According to Sports Illustrated, University of Arizona was to receive the NOA on Thursday, Oct. 22. This could mean the beginning of the end of this case - but could also mean a harsh reality lies in the future for the program and Head Coach Sean Miller.

“It is certainly detrimental to the long term effect of the program,” said Christian Dennie, an attorney and former NCAA Compliance Officer.

Dennie says the University of Arizona is in hot water with the NCAA. Dennie has argued court cases very similar to this one, and says there may not be a bright side here.

“Paying people money is kind of like the No. 1 death now,” Dennie said. “I would expect that they’re going to be harsh.”

Back in 2017, federal authorities arrested former UA assistant coach Book Richardson on bribery charges.

Richardson pled guilty to attempting to sway players to sign with Wildcats head coach Sean Miller’s business manager, Christian Dawkins.

Miller has denied any involvement, though court room evidence shows Miller and Dawkins had multiple conversations about high school prospects. Though, Miller reiterated that he could not comment on the investigation.

“NCAA rules don’t permit you to comment on ongoing investigations for obvious reasons,” Dennie said. “It’s smart for him not to speak right now.”

Dennie says at this point, the NCAA has most likely finished their investigation, which means after allegations are dropped down, the university’s next step is most likely filing an appeal. But, like many other things - the coronavirus pandemic may have an impact.

“The NCAA investigators, a lot of them are furloughed right now,” Dennie said. “It’s a weird process on how all of this is going to shake out.”

Dennie says the case is most likely far from over because schools often appeal cases involving potential loss of scholarships or post-season bans. We have requested the public records from the university but we have not heard back.

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