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Firing Sean Miller would be costly for Arizona

Miller would be owed $10.3 million even if fired for cause, per ESPN

California-Baker v Arizona Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

Sean Miller’s future with the Arizona Wildcats is in doubt.

An ESPN report said FBI wiretaps have the UA head coach discussing paying $100,000 to secure the signing of star freshman Deandre Ayton.

That is certainly a fireable offense if true, especially if it is proven that money actually changed hands, but getting rid of Miller would be costly for the UA.

Arizona still owes Miller, whose contract runs through 2022, roughly $12.2 million. Here is the weird part.

Per ESPN’s Darren Rovell, if Miller is fired without cause, Arizona will owe him approximately $5.15 million.

But if Miller is fired for cause, he will be owed $10.3 million because of a drafting error on UA’s part. Most coaches get $0 in that situation, per Rovell.

However, Rovell did note that Miller would have to pay Arizona up to $300,000 in damages for violating NCAA rules, for whatever that is worth.

Miller was hired by then-UA athletic director Jim Livengood back in 2009, and extended by then-UA athletic director Greg Byrne last February, so one of them seemingly did a poor job protecting Arizona in the event of something like this.

Keep in mind Arizona is already on the hook to pay former UA football coach Rich Rodriguez’s buyout which is worth about $6 million. So if Miller is let go, that is a lot of money Arizona would be paying coaches to, well, not coach.

Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter at @RKelapire