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Former UA coach reaches plea deal in bribery trial

TUCSON – Emanuel “Book” Richardson, the former assistant coach for the Arizona men’s basketball team, came to a plea agreement Monday in connection to the conspiracy, fraud and bribery case, according to Richardson’s attorney, Craig Mordock.

In 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice accused Richardson of taking $20,000 in bribes and paying an unnamed recruit to commit to Arizona. This followed a federal investigation in 2015.

Richardson was one of four NCAA men’s basketball assistant coaches taken into custody in relation to the investigation.

Authorities say the former assistant coach pleaded guilty to one count of federal funds bribery. This charge has a sentence range of 18-24 months. The five other charges were dropped in the case.

“Book Richardson has positively affected the lives of young men and encouraged them to reach their potential for 25 years,” Mordock said. “While he will be judged for his actions in this case, this is something he did. It is not who he is.”

Officials say Richardson initially faced  60 years in prison in relation to the charges.

Anthony Victor Reyes

Anthony Victor Reyes

Anthony Victor Reyes is the lead digital content producer at News 4 Tucson. The award-winning journalist previously worked as a community reporter in Jasper County, Iowa.
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