Nearing the end of a criminal investigation looking into paying college players dating back to October of last year, Sean Miller of Arizona and Will Wade of LSU are now being subpoenaed to testify.
Christian Dawkins has been accused of bribing assistant coaches to direct star players to his agency once they reached the NBA. Evidence has surfaced that may link Dawkins to coaches Sean Miller of Arizona and Will Wade of LSU.
Dawkins was accused of bribing three former coaches, Emanuel Richardson of Arizona, Lamont Evans of Oklahoma State, and Tony Bland of USC for over $22,000. Those coaches have all agreed to plea agreements for their cooperation, basically making Dawkins look pretty guilty.
Cell phone records show that Dawkins had 13 or more phone calls with Sean Miller of Arizona between May 3rd, 2017 and July 2nd, 2017. These calls all lasted at least five minutes, definitely making them more than casual acquaintances.
Making things even muddier is that there were reports of a $100,000 payment to make sure Deandre Ayton, 1st pick of the draft, played for Arizona. Ayton did in fact play for the Arizona Wildcats in College. The assistant coach of the time was Mark Phelps, who is now in the process of being fired.
Phelps was also accused of trying to do the same thing with Shaquille O’Neal’s son, Shareef O’Neal, who rebuked his commitment to the Wildcats because of the rumors. Shareef ended up signing with UCLA, but had to medical redshirt the 2018-2019 season due to a heart condition.
Miller has been less than pleasant amongst the probe, even snapping at reporters when asked about the situation. The man must be under a ton of pressure, and he’s not looking very good at the moment. You’d have to assume he wont stay coach for much longer, as even allegations can kill a career.
Per the phone records, there were also three calls between Dawkins and Will Wade of LSU. A wiretap recording of Wade revealed one of their conversations where the two were discussing Balsa Koprivica and having him play at LSU. The date of the call wasn’t mentioned, but on June 21st, 2017, Koprivica did in fact receive an offer from LSU.
Obviously Wade refutes having anything to do with Dawkins.
The trial will take place April 22nd so we can hear what the coaches have to say about the situation then. Wade doesn’t look too guilty, but Miller is looking shady at best. On top of former assistant coaches Emanuel Richardson and Mark Phelps, Joe Pasternack is also being connected to Dawkins. Pasternack worked six seasons with Miller. Expect changes to the college basketball head coaching scene.