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UA President, Regents announce Sean Miller will remain basketball coach

Posted at 1:19 PM, Feb 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-01 20:11:01-05

The Arizona Board of Regents met Thursday afternoon to discuss the future of Arizona Wildcats basketball coach Sean Miller.

University of Arizona President Robert Robbins, along with the Regents showed their support for Sean Miller and announced he will remain the basketball coach.

President Robbins told the media that he has no reason to believe Miller violated NCAA rules.

"We expect Coach Miller to be on the sidelines coaching the team tonight and for the remainder of the season," said Robbins.

The following is the statement from Robert C. Robbins, UA President and Dave Heeke, UA Director of Athletics:

We have decided that Sean Miller will remain the University of Arizona's men's basketball coach.

Media reports last Friday alleged that Coach Miller was caught on a wiretap discussing a payment with a representative of a sports agency regarding one of our student-athletes. Since those reports broke, we have sought to learn everything that we can from Coach Miller about the allegations. As Coach Miller's employer, we acted to investigate these reports. 

Earlier this week, we met with Coach Miller at length and asked him direct and pointed questions. He was eager to speak with us and answered every question we asked. At this time we have no reason to believe that Coach Miller violated NCAA rules or any laws regarding the allegation reported in the media. Additionally, he has a record of compliance with NCAA rules, and he has been cooperative with this process.

While some might be tempted to rush to judgment when there is intense public pressure, due process is the bedrock of fair treatment and acting with integrity. With that in mind, we will continue to pursue every avenue of inquiry available to us during an active federal investigation to fully understand the facts. We recognize that investigation is ongoing, and we will continue to be respectful and cooperative through its conclusion. Steptoe & Johnson continues its investigation into our athletics compliance, and we will carefully review and act on its conclusions. We anticipate this report will be thorough and based on facts.

We want to thank our student-athletes for the strength they have exhibited during this challenging situation. We are confident that they will continue to respond with commitment, integrity and excellence. Deandre Ayton, who has been subjected to false, public reports that impugned his reputation, has our full support. We ask that the Wildcat Family rally behind these young men and our coaching staff tonight and throughout the rest of our season. 

The following was the statement from Arizona Board of Regents Chair Bill Ridenour:

The Arizona Board of Regents met today to receive further legal advice regarding University of Arizona men’s basketball and the multi-year employment contract for head coach Sean Miller.

While intense media interest in this issue has prompted much speculation, ABOR and the UA must act in a deliberative manner rooted in facts rather than conjecture. We owe this to the students, faculty, alumni and Arizona taxpayers we serve.

President Robbins fully briefed the board today on his investigation, concerns and findings regarding men’s basketball. Shortly, he will share with you his decision regarding Coach Miller. I fully support his decision and I am confident he has been thorough in his assessment of this situation. I also appreciate Coach Miller’s forthright statement to the press today.

As the governing body of Arizona’s public universities, ABOR is committed to doing everything possible to uphold the integrity of the institutions we oversee. This pledge extends to collegiate athletic programs, which must adhere to the high standards established by each university. Basketball is a beloved sport at the University of Arizona and throughout Arizona. The integrity of our institutions
cannot be compromised. 

As a Wildcat, the excellence of the University of Arizona, our student athletes and the success of future generations of students is deeply important to me. The board will remain in close contact with Dr. Robbins as this process continues.

Embattled Arizona Wildcats coach Sean Miller announced in a press conference prior to the Regents meeting that he would remain as coach of the team.

In a notice posted Wednesday afternoon, the regents announced they would meet at 3 p.m. Thursday.

On Friday, ESPN reported that an FBI wiretap recorded Miller discussing paying then-recruit DeAndre Ayton $100,000 to play at the UA.

Since then, the sourcing of the article has been called into question and an attorney representing Ayton's family has denied receiving payment.

Miller and the UA mutually agreed that he sit out Saturday's game at Oregon. Miller released a statement declaring that he would be exonerated of wrongdoing.

Assistant coach Lorenzo Romar has been running the team in Miller's absence. The Wildcats host Stanford at 8 p.m. Thursday.