You know what’s funny about the entire situation surrounding Sean Miller?
Chances are upwards of 90-percent of people who even care made up their minds regarding his guilt or innocence long ago.
Maybe it happened in September 2017 when Miller and Book Richardson were first implicated, or perhaps it was not until the since-debunked ESPN report was published the following February.
It did not matter where the evidence pointed (not at Miller) or what was discovered during the ensuing trial (very little of substance); words from those directly involved as well as people who were covering it all didn’t do much to sway public opinion.
Whatever you believed back when this all went down you more than likely believe now. Not only that, but you’re probably even more dug into your position.
That’s why the hype surrounding Tuesday’s release of “The Scheme” on HBO was ridiculous.
Hey, you can’t say we didn’t warn you. But I digress.
Did anyone really expect it to shed any kind of light on the situation? Were folks believing there would be some never-before-heard recording of Miller or another coach admitting to guilt?
The NCAA is inept and the FBI ran a clunky investigation, but it’s difficult to imagine HBO gaining access to something they could not. Anyone who was expecting some revelatory information from the documentary was either a fool or should acknowledge that it was less of an expectation than it was a hope.
That’s fine, too. I’m not going to tell you that Miller is running a squeaky clean program in Tucson or that the head coach has never broken any rules. There is plenty of smoke surrounding him and it is incredibly difficult to believe he had no clue about the shady stuff that was going on.
But until Miller is a proven cheater or the coach’s brand becomes so toxic that quality players don’t even look at Tucson, he will continue to be the coach.
There’s a third option for his removal, of course, and that’s a lack of on-court success. I touched on that a couple weeks ago, and in that regard nothing has changed. Really, in every regard nothing has changed.
Nothing. Has. Changed.
That will not stop people from trolling Arizona fans. I myself woke up to a text that simply said, “Bye” with a link to a story about the documentary. The article’s headline noted that there were “revealing wiretaps” that featured Miller, which is a considerable stretch.
In past statements Miller never said he didn’t talk to Christian Dawkins, and we all knew that Richardson was involved. It was also not news that all three were recorded on FBI wiretaps.
Miller did use profanity, however, so that might have been surprising to some folks.
As is often the case, people will read into things what they want, see what they want to see. The same can be said for my friend who texted me as well as the outlet with the iffy headline.
It could also be said for myself, though all I’m saying is there is so far nothing to see here.
Could that change? Well, at some point in the future you have to expect the NCAA to hand Arizona some form of punishment. We don’t know what it will be or how far it will set the program back, but you’d have to be naive to think there won’t be some ramifications for what has transpired.
The NCAA might force Arizona’s hand. Hell, that might be what the school is hoping for.
Assuming nothing happens in the near future, which seems likely because of the world today as well as the NCAA’s lack of expediency in such matters, Dave Heeke and Co. will probably not be so fortunate.
But whether the decision on Miller is made by the NCAA or not, the decision will be coming soon.
As of now there are now two years left on Miller’s contract. Not long ago he got regular extensions, but times have certainly changed. Arizona has underwhelmed the last few seasons and Miller needs to show he can right the ship.
Whatever you think of him as a coach, it would be unfair and unwise to expect Miller to work on a one-year deal as recruiting would undoubtedly suffer. So, something is going to have to give this next season.
The decision won’t be made based off of news reports or documentaries, unless they actually contain something fresh and credible.
That seems unlikely.
Whether or not Miller is Arizona’s coach one year from now will be determined by what happens on the court, not in one.
That goes for both a court of law and that of public opinion. One chose not to prosecute Miller and the other, while confident in its verdict, is worth ignoring.