Wiretaps played in federal court allege Arizona's Sean Miller paid players

Arizona Wildcats head coach Sean Miller looks on during a college basketball game on March 9, 2019. (AP)
Arizona Wildcats head coach Sean Miller looks on during a college basketball game on March 9, 2019. (AP)

NEW YORK — An FBI-intercepted phone call from June 2017 between basketball middleman Christian Dawkins and then-Arizona assistant coach Emanuel “Book” Richardson was played in federal court Wednesday morning.

On the call, Richardson tells Dawkins that Arizona head coach Sean Miller was paying, or had promised to pay, $10,000 a month for Deandre Ayton, who would go on to become the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NBA draft.

Amid the seven wiretaps played in court during the college basketball bribery trial, there were multiple inferences of Miller himself personally paying Ayton.

On one call between Dawkins and Richardson, the two discussed Ayton and the possibility of Dawkins’ management company eventually signing Ayton. That’s when Miller came up.

“You know what he bought per month,” Richardson said on the call concerning what Richardson believed was Miller’s agreement with Ayton.

“What he do?” Dawkins asked.

“I told you, 10,” Richardson said.

Later, Dawkins said, “Hey, he’s putting up some real money for them [racial slur].”

Also on the calls, the two discussed that Richardson did not need to use any of the $20,000 that Dawkins’ company was going to give him to pay Wildcat player Rawle Alkins because Miller was allegedly handling him.

“You already know, Sean’s taking care of Rawle and them,” Dawkins said. “So it ain’t no expense to Rawle. So that’s easy.”

There were also discussions of the mother of Jahvon Quinerly requesting $20,000-$25,000 from Arizona. Quinerly originally committed to the Wildcats, but backed out after Dawkins and Code, among others, were arrested in September 2017. Quinerly played last year at Villanova, but is set to transfer.

Miller has denied violating any NCAA rules while at Arizona.

The trial of Dawkins and co-defendant Merl Code is ongoing in Lower Manhattan. Dawkins took the the stand Monday morning and began his testimony.

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