Arizona men’s basketball self-imposes 1-year postseason ban

Sports

Arizona coach Sean Miller reacts to a play during the second half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against Colorado, Monday, Dec. 28, 2020, in Tucson, Ariz. Arizona won 88-74. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona men’s basketball program has self-imposed a one-year postseason ban related to its long-running NCAA rules infractions case.

Arizona was accused of nine counts of misconduct, including five Level I violations, in a Notice of Allegations sent by the NCAA in October. The violations include a lack of institutional control and failure to monitor by the university, and lack of head coach control by basketball coach Sean Miller.

The school announced the one-year ban Tuesday.

“The decision is an acknowledgement that the NCAA’s investigation revealed that certain former members of the (men’s basketball) staff displayed serious lapses in judgment and a departure from the university’s expectation of honest and ethical behavior,” the school said in a statement. “It is also in accord with the penalty guidelines of the NCAA for the type of violations involved.”

Arizona is off to a 7-1 start this season, including a 1-1 mark in the Pac-12, but won’t have the opportunity to play in the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats have a revamped roster after freshmen stars Josh Green, Zeke Nnaji and Nico Mannion were all selected in the NBA draft.

The postseason ban includes the Pac-12 tournament. Arizona’s season will end against rival Arizona State on March 6.

“I understand and fully support the university’s decision to self-impose a one-year postseason ban on our men’s basketball program,” Miller said in a statement. “Our team will remain united and aggressively compete to win a Pac-12 championship.”

Arizona had been in the NCAA’s crosshairs since 2017, when assistant coach Emanuel Richardson was among 10 people arrested as part of a federal corruption investigation into college basketball.

Richardson was fired by the university and later pleaded guilty to accepting $20,000 in bribes from aspiring business manager Christian Dawkins. He was sentenced to three months in prison in 2019.

Miller sat out a game in 2018 after ESPN reported that he was heard on an FBI wiretap discussing a $100,000 payment to future No. 1 overall NBA pick Deandre Ayton. Miller vehemently denied the report and university President Robert C. Robbins announced a few days later that Miller would remain the Wildcats’ coach.

Arizona was one of several schools involved in the federal probe, including Oklahoma State, Kansas and Louisville. Auburn also self-imposed a postseason ban in November.

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AP College Basketball Writer John Marshall contributed to this report.

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More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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