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Report: Former UA coach paid high school to ensure Alkins' academic eligibility

Hear Book Richardson speak in court
Posted at 12:38 PM, Sep 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-11 16:10:19-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Former University of Arizona assistant coach Emanuel "Book" Richardson told undercover agents he paid a high school to ensure a former player's academic eligibility, according to a report from Yahoo Sports.

In a transcript of a conversation that was recorded by the FBI in June 2017, Richardson says he gave the high school $40,000 to have Rawle Alkins' transcript amended, making him eligible to play his freshman season.

The report says the high school in focus is Bishop Ford High School in Brooklyn, which closed in 2014 when Alkins was 17 years old.

Yahoo Sports says Richardson did not say where he got the money during the conversation. "He cited the payment as an example of the difficulty handling the demands of recruits, their families and those around them," the article said.

Yahoo Sports listed the following quotes from Richardson as seen in the transcript:

“So, again, is it something different each year?” Richardson said, generally referencing having to financially support recruits’ families. “It is. Like I said, $40,000 to do that was totally extreme. If I had the chance to do it all over again, I would not do it. I'd try to barter something. I'd give blood. I'd give semen, something.”
Richardson said the coach told him, “I need $40,000 to get this [class] on his transcript. If he does not get this class, he's gonna be a partial qualifier. He's not gonna have 16 credits to graduate.”
“The high school coach again, it was ingenious,” Richardson said. “But when you bamboozle everyone and that kid didn't get any of the 40, that's the problem I have.”

In June of 2019, Richardson was sentenced to three months in prison and two years of supervised released thereafter. He was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery. The sentencing came after a multi-year college basketball corruption investigation that included the University of Arizona.

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