TUCSON (KVOA) - The University of Arizona has announced it has self-imposed a one-year postseason ban on the men's basketball team.
The University says this is a "proactive measure in its ongoing NCAA enforcement process."
The ban means the Wildcats will not participate in the Pac-12 Tournament or NCAA Tournament in 2021.
University of Arizona Statement: “The University of Arizona is self-imposing a one-year postseason ban on the UA Men’s Basketball program as a proactive measure in its ongoing NCAA enforcement process. The decision is an acknowledgement that the NCAA’s investigation revealed that certain former members of the MBB staff displayed serious lapses in judgment and a departure from the University’s expectation of honest and ethical behavior. It is also in accord with the penalty guidelines of the NCAA for the type of violations involved. This decision also reinforces the institution’s commitment to accountability and integrity as well as serving the best long-term interests of the University and the Men’s Basketball program.”
VP and Director of Athletics Dave Heeke statement: “The decision to self-impose a postseason ban was extremely difficult, as we recognize the impact that it has on our current student-athletes. We will continue to cooperate fully with the NCAA enforcement process and continue to support the hard-working young men in our Men’s Basketball program.”
Men's Basketball Head Coach Sean Miller statement: “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.”
UA Athletics and the Arizona Board of Regents acknowledged receipt of a "Notice Of Allegations" (NOA) from the NCAA in October. The NOA is for alleged recruiting violations by the men's basketball and swimming programs.
The Athletic reported the two programs were hit with nine NCAA violations, including five Level I allegations. Arizona was charged with lack of institutional control and failure to monitor, and head coaches Sean Miller (men's basketball) and Augie Busch (swimming) were charged with lack of head coach control.
When Miller was asked about the Notice of Allegations in October, this was his response.
"I'm not gonna comment on anything that is around any investigation. That's really what I'm called to do as a member of our athletic department so I'm not able to comment."
The school made a request to the NCAA that its case be heard by the new Independent Accountability Resolution Process (IARP). That request was granted earlier this month.
The IARP is comprised of independent investigators, advocates and adjudicators who are responsible for reviewing select DI infractions cases.
UA's case will be among the first heard by the body so there is no current indication how long the process will take. Whatever the resolution, cases that are decided by the IARP cannot be appealed.
In 2017, former University of Arizona men's basketball assistant coach Emmanuel "Book" Richardson was arrested and ultimately pleaded guilty to accepting $20,000 in bribes in exchange for steering Arizona athletes to pro sports agents.
Richardson was released from prison in October 2019.
UA in 2019 let the contract of assistant men's basketball coach Mark Phelps expire. Phelps was under an indefinite suspension for most of the second half of the 2018-19 season.
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