Arizona Receives Five Level 1 Violation Charges From NCAA

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The NCAA has levied five Level 1 charges against Arizona—four against the men's basketball program and one against the athletic department, the school announced on Friday.

The charges included a lack of head-coach responsibility charge against head coach Sean Miller. Most of the charges centered around former assistants Book Richardson and Mark Phelps, while Miller was alleged to overall failure to foster compliance or monitor his reports.

The complete list of the Level 1 charges are as follows:

  • Unethical recruiting conduct involving academic misconduct by former assistant coaches Book Richardson and Mark Phelps. The NCAA said they "engaged in pre-enrollment academic misconduct and/or provided an impermissible recruiting inducement when they knowingly arranged for false academic transcripts
  • Unethical conduct by Richardson for accepting $20,000 in bribes (a charge Richardson admitted to and served a three-month prison sentence for).
  • Unethical conduct by Phelps for asking a UA player to delete a text message thread related to an impermissible $500 loan he had provided, and lying to investigators.
  • Head coach responsibility for Miller for not demonstrating he promoted compliance.
  • Institutional lack of control for Arizona because of the men's basketball charges and two Level II charges involving swimming.

The NCAA also issued Level 2 charges against Phelps for giving a player a $500 loan and for asking a player to help him recruit.

Other Level 2 charges were issued against the swimming and diving program for arranging illegal tryouts, and for a lack of head coaching responsibility by Augie Busch.

Arizona self-imposed a one-year postseason ban on Dec. 29 for its men's basketball program, acknowledging "that the NCAA's investigation revealed that certain former members of the men's basketball staff displayed serious lapses in judgment."

The NCAA's penalty system calls for a postseason ban of one to two years under a standard Level 1 violation, though an aggravated Level 1 violation has a two to four-year ban. Among the aggravating factors is the designation that a program "compromised the integrity of the investigation" and failed to cooperate.

If Miller is found guilty of a Level 1 charge, he will lose a $1 million bonus, though he may have already been paid a portion of that bonus and would have to return the payment.

Richardson pled guilty to accepting $20,000 in bribes for steering Arizona players toward aspiring agent Christian Dawkins and financial manager Munish Sood. Richardson told Dawkins that Miller was paying $10,000 for Deandre Ayton to sign with Arizona, and the intercepted phone call was played in court.