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Sean Miller discussed paying $100,000 to ensure signing of Deandre Ayton, per ESPN

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NCAA Basketball: North Dakota State at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since Book Richardson was arrested for bribery and fraud in the FBI’s investigation into college basketball corruption, one question emerged: did Arizona Wildcats head coach Sean Miller know about his assistant coach’s wrongdoing?

Well, it looks like the answer to that question is yes. And that Miller had a prominent role in UA’s improper recruiting conduct.

ESPN’s Mark Schlabach dropped this bombshell of a report Friday night (bolding is mine):

FBI wiretaps intercepted telephone conversations between Arizona coach Sean Miller and Christian Dawkins, a key figure in the FBI’s investigation into college basketball corruption, in which Miller discussed paying $100,000 to ensure star freshman Deandre Ayton signed with the Wildcats, sources familiar with the government’s evidence told ESPN.

According to people with knowledge of the FBI investigation, Miller and Dawkins, a runner working for ASM Sports agent Andy Miller, had multiple conversations about Ayton. When Dawkins asked Sean Miller if he should work with assistant coach Emanuel “Book” Richardson to finalize their agreement, Miller told Dawkins he should deal directly with him when it came to money, the sources said.

If the report is accurate, it is damning evidence against Miller and a serious NCAA violation by the Arizona program. The ramifications could be severe and extensive.

It also jeopardizes Ayton’s eligibility the rest of the season.

Arizona is already dealing with the suspension of star guard Allonzo Trier, but that pales in comparison to this new report.

Per ESPN’s Darren Rovell, Miller would have to pay Arizona up to $300,000 in damages if he indeed violated NCAA rules.

Miller just had his contract extended through 2022 last February.