Arizona releases NCAA Notice of Allegations with 5 Level I charges
The NCAA’s Notice of Allegations against Arizona has finally been released to media outlets. Arizona initially refused to release the NOA, delivered to the school in October 2020, but ESPN recently won a lawsuit in the state’s Superior Court, forcing the school to release it to all reporters who filed Freedom Of Information Act requests.
Wildcats coach Sean Miller has been hit with a Level I charge for failing to monitor two assistant coaches accused of academic misconduct and improper recruiting inducements while the program faces four other Level I violations.
Bruce Pascoe of the Arizona Daily Star broke down the NOA. Here are the five Level I charges:
1. Unethical recruiting conduct involving academic misconduct: Former Arizona assistant coaches Book Richardson and Mark Phelps sought fraudulent academic records for recruits.
An FBI recording has Richardson discussing paying a high school coach $40,000 to help ensure the eligibility of recruit Rawle Alkins. Phelps is similarly accused of arranging for a “false or inaccurate academic record” for recruiting target Shareef O’Neal, who enrolled at UCLA and now plays at LSU.
2. Unethical conduct: Richardson accepted $20,000 in bribes from an agency in exchange for his agreement to steer Arizona players toward that agency as professionals
Richardson admitted to the charge, a result of the FBI investigation, and served a three-month prison sentence.
3. Unethical conduct: Phelps asked an Arizona player to delete a text message thread related to an impermissible $500 loan and lied to investigators about the allegedly fraudulent academic transcript.
The loan was for a plane ticket.
4. Head coach responsibility for Miller: For not demonstrating he promoted compliance, including not monitoring Richardson for his relationship with an agent.
5. Institutional lack of control for Arizona: Due to men’s basketball charges and two Level II charges involving swimming.
A further breakdown of what it potentially means for Arizona, which self-imposed a postseason ban this year, can be found in Pascoe’s full report.