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Arizona fires coach Sean Miller after 12 seasons

Written by 
Published in Breaking News
Wednesday, 07 April 2021 11:59

Sean Miller has been fired as the head coach of the Arizona men's basketball team, sources told ESPN.

Miller had been in Tucson since 2009, leading the Wildcats to seven NCAA tournaments and three Elite Eight appearances. Arizona won at least a share of five Pac-12 regular-season championships under Miller.

Miller had one year left on his contract.

Arizona had been ensnared in the 2017 federal investigation into corruption in college basketball. Former assistant coach Emanuel "Book" Richardson pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to commit bribery after being accused of accepting $20,000 to steer Arizona players to aspiring sports agent Christian Dawkins. During Dawkins' trial, prosecutors played an FBI-intercepted call in which Richardson told Dawkins that Miller was paying $10,000 a month for former player DeAndre Ayton. Miller has consistently denied paying players to attend Arizona.

The NCAA charged the school with five Level I violations, according to a notice of allegations released last month. The program was hit with two alleged instances of academic misconduct, while Miller was charged for not demonstrating "that he promoted an atmosphere for compliance and monitored his staff."

Arizona self-imposed a one-year postseason ban for this past season.

Sources told ESPN that Arizona had been considering a contract extension for Miller, but the Board of Regents would not approve it because of the ongoing NCAA issues.

Before taking over at Arizona, Miller had been the head coach at Xavier for five seasons, going to four NCAA tournaments and one Elite Eight.

One potential replacement buzzing in recent days has been longtime Gonzaga assistant coach Tommy Lloyd, sources told ESPN. Names with Arizona ties expected to be involved include Pacific's Damon Stoudamire, Georgia Tech's Josh Pastner and Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Miles Simon. BYU head coach Mark Pope had been linked to the job earlier in the season, while Arkansas' Eric Musselman is another name who could get a call to gauge interest.

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