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Book Richardson to The Athletic: 'Everyone still wants me to tell on Arizona'

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Book Richardson talks to The Athletic
Posted at 12:51 PM, Jun 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-16 01:42:33-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Former Arizona Wildcats assistant coach Emanuel "Book" Richardson admitted to a reporter that he broke NCAA rules while at Arizona, but denied one of the most egregious charges leveled against him and the program.

In an extensive interview with The Athletic (subscription required), Richardson said he committed NCAA violations by giving various benefits to basketball recruits who visited. But he denies an accusation that he paid $40,000 to falsify the academic records of a recruit. He also says former Wildcat DeAndre Ayton was not paid to play at Arizona.

Miller denied paying Ayton, but Richardson was caught on a wiretap saying that Miller paid him $10,000 a month.

In The Athletic interview, Richardson said he was boasting and mentioned that agents did not produce evidence that Ayton was paid or that Richardson paid to falsify transcripts.

Richardson, who was convicted of bribery in a 2019 federal trial and served 90 days in prison, is now working as a youth basketball coach in New York City. Richardson pleaded guilty to accepting $20,000 in bribes to coax Arizona basketball players to hire aspiring agent Christian Dawkins. The 2020 HBO documentary "The Scheme" makes an argument that the FBI coaxed Richardson and others into committing crimes they might not have otherwise done.

The NCAA continues to investigate the Arizona basketball program, charging it with five Level 1 NCAA Allegations.

Arizona fired Miller in 2021. He is now the head coach at Xavier.

Richardson insinuated to The Athletic that he is disappointed that Miller has not reached out to him.

“I don’t even know how I’m supposed to feel towards him anymore,” Richardson says. “Am I supposed to hate him? I have no ill feelings towards him. I’m just saying, with everything that’s happened, just see how I’m doing, man. Just care about that. I can only assume lawyers are telling him not to say anything, but I worked for you for 11 years. Just see how I’m doing.”
-Book Richardson to "The Athletic"

Richardson said the NCAA complex case unit still requests interviews with him.

“Everyone still wants me to tell on Arizona," he told The Athletic. "I’m like, guys, what do you want me to tell? None of the coaches are there, none of the kids are there.”

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Phil Villarreal is the senior real-time editor for KGUN 9. He is also a digital producer and host of "Phil on Film" seen weekly on Good Morning Tucson, Phil moved to KGUN after 17 years with the Arizona Daily Star. He is married and has four children. Share your story ideas and important issues with Phil by emailing phil.villarreal@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.