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Tapes played at federal basketball trial detail ex-Arizona assistant Book Richardson’s actions

book-richardson-arizona-wildcats-sean-miller-fbi-federal-bribery-trial-christian-dawkins-merl-code Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Former Arizona Wildcats assistant coach Emanuel ‘Book’ Richardson was a major focal point in the federal college basketball trial on Monday, even though he wasn’t actually there.

Wiretaps played during the trial of Christian Dawkins and Merl Code featured Richardson detailing some of the actions he took that led to his arrest in September 2017 on federal bribery charges.

Richardson, an assistant for Sean Miller at both Xavier and Arizona, pleaded guilty in January to one bribery count and awaits sentencing in May.

Defense attorneys have been unsuccessful in trying to get U.S. District Court Judge Edgardo Ramos to compel Miller to take the stand, calling his testimony irrelevant to the trial despite claims by Dawkins on tape that Miller was willing to pay players. While such allegations aren’t criminal, they would be NCAA violations.

The same goes for any violations that may come as the result of Richardson’s actions, and that could ultimately lead to sanctions against Miller based on recent NCAA rule changes. Bylaw says a head coach is “presumed to be responsible for the actions on all staff members who report, directly or indirectly, to the head coach” and that he “will be held accountable for violations in the program unless he or she can rebut the presumption of responsibility.”