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Arizona Men's Basketball Self-Imposes One-Year Postseason Ban Following NCAA Investigation

Arizona has self-imposed a one-year postseason ban on the men's basketball program following the school's formal Notice of Allegations from the NCAA in October. 

The Wildcats released a statement saying the school acknowledges "that the NCAA's investigation revealed that certain former members of the men's basketball staff displayed serious lapses in judgment," per the Arizona Daily Star's Bruce Pascoe.

The formal notice of allegations stemmed from the NCAA's investigation into programs tied to the federal probe of corruption in college basketball. Sports Illustrated's Pat Forde reported on Oct. 25 that Arizona's notice included nine charges of misconduct, including five Level I allegations. 

The Level I allegations reportedly included Sean Miller violating head coach control responsibility, as well as a lack of institutional control charge against the athletic department as a whole.

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Said Miller in a statement Tuesday about the school's decision: “I understand and fully support the university’s decision to self-impose a one-year post season ban on our men’s basketball program. Our team will remain united and aggressively compete to win a Pac-12 championship.”

Despite Arizona's self-imposed penalty, the NCAA will still be able to further sanction the program if it so chooses.

The Wildcats' case has been one of the most significant throughout the college hoops scandal. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York announced its investigation on Sept. 26, 2017. Among the four college assistant coaches arrested and charged was then Wildcats staffer Emanuel "Book" Richardson, who pleaded guilty to accepting $20,000 in bribes in exchange for steering Arizona players to aspiring agent Christian Dawkins and financial manager Munish Sood. Richardson spent three months in federal prison.

Richardson also reportedly told Dawkins that Miller was paying Deandre Ayton $10,000 to make sure he would sign with the Wildcats. Federal prosecutors played the intercepted phone call in court in May. 

Some wiretaps of conversations between Richardson and Dawkins seemed to implicate Miller in pay-for-play situations. Arizona briefly suspended Miller in early 2018 when his name first was being directly tied to potential violations. After being reinstated, he said, "I have never knowingly violated NCAA rules while serving as head coach of this great program. I have never paid a recruit, prospect or their family to come to Arizona, and I never will."