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Arizona initiates independent investigation into Emanuel “Book” Richardson allegations

The University is starting the termination process

Arizona State v Arizona Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

On Wednesday evening, University of Arizona president Robert C. Robbins announced that the school will begin an independent investigation into the allegations facing the Arizona Wildcats men’s basketball program levied by the FBI, and will begin the dismissal process for currently suspended assistant coach Emanuel “Book” Richardson.

Here is the full statement from Robbins:

“I have directed the University of Arizona to initiate an independent investigation into the alleged actions of Emanuel Richardson and to retain an external law firm to conduct the investigation.

“We also have reviewed the specific factual allegations in the criminal complaint and have initiated the dismissal process against Mr. Richardson.

“The University of Arizona expects everyone who is part of our campus community to adhere to the highest ethical standards of behavior. Arizona Athletics has a strong culture of compliance that begins at the top and extends throughout the organization. Specifically, the athletics departments has a documented history of strengthening institutional control by being proactive and comprehensive through rules education and program monitoring.”

The University’s original statement on Tuesday said that Richardson has been “relieved of all duties”, but later clarified that he had not been terminated. That process is now underway.

In addition, the Arizona Board of Regents says that “President Robbins and the UA are fully cooperating with the FBI as the investigation continues. The ABOR also said “The conduct alleged against Emanuel Richardson is absolutely unacceptable. To be clear, the Arizona Board of Regents expects our employees and students to act with the utmost legal and ethical behavior.”

Athletic Director Dave Heeke echoed those sentiments in his weekly Wildcat Wednesday newsletter.

“I want to reiterate. We pride ourselves on fostering a culture of compliance. We have and will continue to have a positive and productive relationship with the NCAA through our compliance programs. These programs afford us the opportunity to engage with our coaches and student-athletes through a variety of tools, including rules education, monitoring, and regular in-person interaction.

We have not, and will not, tolerate those that operate outside NCAA rules. This is not how we expect our university and this athletics department to be represented, and we assure you that we will continue to prioritize integrity in all that we do.

Bear Down with Pride.

Louisville and Alabama have already been forced to make staff changes in the immediate aftermath of the FBI’s released findings on Tuesday, and it’s likely that Arizona will join that group with other schools in the coming days and weeks.