Paul Kelly, the attorney conducting Arizona's internal investigation into the FBI probe, says that DeAndre Ayton should not be deemed ineligible and has abided by all applicable rules, according to a release shared by ESPN's Mark Schlabach.
Last week, ESPN reported the FBI has wiretaps of phone conversations between head coach Sean Miller and ASM Sports agent Andy Miller discussing $100,000 so that Ayton would sign with the Wildcats. Miller did not coach against Oregon over the weekend.
Ayton's family issued a statement saying they were "outraged and disgusted" by the recent reports.
Kelly issued the following statement on Sunday:
"I am aware of media reports and public relations suggesting that University of Arizona Men's Basketball student-athlete DeAndre Ayton should not be deemed eligible to compete due to a perception that he or his family received money or other benefits in connection with his recruitment at Arizona. These reports are false and unfounded.
Over the past several months, Mr. Ayton has voluntarily submitted to several interviews, by federal prosecutors and the FBI, by University and PAC-12 compliance officials, by representatives of the NCAA, and by Steptoe &Johnson, the independent law firm engaged by te University to review these matters. In each of these interviews, Mr. Ayton has credibly and consistently maintained that neither he nor any member of his family, not any representative thereof, received any money or extra benefit to influence his decision to attend the University of Arizona. Not a shred of evidence has been adduced suggesting otherwise, which federal investigators and NCAA officials have acknowledged.
As a former Assistant U.S. Attorney with a deep understanding of the criminal investigative process, and as an NCAA legal practitioner. I can say with confidence that DeAndre Ayton has abided by all applicable rules and regulations and is fully eligible to participate as a member of the Men's Basketball team.
On a personal note, we found DeAndre to be an outstanding and honorable young man who has been truthful and cooperative in all of our dealings with him."
Ayton played in Saturday's 98–93 loss to Oregon and finished the game with 28 points and 19 rebounds.