Looks like Sean Miller and, by relation, the Arizona Wildcats won’t be having their day in court anytime soon.
U.S. District Court Judge Edgardo Ramos ruled Friday that he doesn’t see the need for Miller to testify in an upcoming federal trial related to the FBI’s investigation into college basketball corruption.
Miller and LSU coach Will Wade had reportedly been subpoenaed to testify by Steven Haney, an attorney for Christian Dawkins, who along with ex-Adidas consultant Merl Code are facing four federal bribery counts. Their trial is scheduled to begin Monday in New York City.
Haney had been quoted as saying he wanted to “pull back the curtain” on college basketball’s corrupt nature by getting Miller and Wade to testify about potential NCAA violations related to paying players, in an effort to show the atmosphere his client was operating in, but it appears his reasoning didn’t fly with Ramos.
Judge Edgardo Ramos reserved the right to change his mind but it doesn't look like jury will hear recordings of Miller or see him testify— Pete Brush (@PeteBrush) April 19, 2019
Both coaches have been linked to FBI wiretaps involving Dawkins, with Wade’s connection leading to LSU suspending him at the end of the regular season (before reinstating him last weekend).
ESPN reported in February 2018 that Miller had been caught on a wiretap discussing a sizable payment to ensure Deandre Ayton came to Arizona, a report that several other media outlets refuted. Miller emphatically denied the accusation a few days later but since then has refused to comment on the matter.
The same goes for when news broke in early February that the NCAA had begun a formal inquiry into Arizona’s program and a few weeks later when Yahoo! Reported on Miller’s subpoena, though he did tell a persistent TV reporter to “drive back to Phoenix” when pressed on the subject.
The alleged wiretaps were part of an FBI investigation that led to the arrest of several college assistants, including former Arizona assistant Emanuel ‘Book’ Richardson. Richardson, who pleaded guilty in January to one felony bribery count, is scheduled to be sentenced on May 10.
Code, Dawkins and former Adidas executive James Gatto were previously convicted in October of conspiracy and fraud charges in a separate federal trial. Code and Dawkins were given six-month sentences, while Gatto was given a nine-month sentence.
While Friday’s ruling does mean Miller won’t have to be in court next week, his name could still come up during the trial.
Defense attorney Steve Haney said in this morning’s hearing: “The evidence establishes very clearly that Sean Miller is paying players at Arizona.”— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) April 19, 2019
Afterward, Haney told reporters, “You’ll have to be here to hear the evidence.”