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Former Arizona men’s basketball assistant Book Richardson opens up about bribery arrest, relationship with Sean Miller

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arizona-wildcats-mens-basketball-book-richardson-sean-miller-christian-dawkins-ncaa-fbi-bribery Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images

Book Richardson has decided to share his side of the story.

Speaking with The Athletic’s Seth Davis, the former Arizona assistant coach said he’s only spoken with former UA coach Sean Miller once since being arrested on federal bribery charges in September 2017. That came during a prep basketball tournament in Arizona in 2019, during which they “said a quick, awkward hello,” per The Athletic.

“I don’t even know how I’m supposed to feel towards him anymore,” Richardson said. “Am I supposed to hate him? I have no ill feelings towards him. I’m just saying, with everything that’s happened, just see how I’m doing, man. Just care about that. I can only assume lawyers are telling him not to say anything, but I worked for you for 11 years. Just see how I’m doing.”

Richardson came to the UA with Miller from Xavier in 2009, spending eight seasons at the school before his arrest. He was immediately suspended by Arizona and later pled guilty to one count of federal funds bribery, serving three months in prison.

A show-cause penalty is likely to come from the NCAA whenever it completes its case against Arizona—some time this year, probably—and that would keep Richardson out of college coaching until the time period expires. Meanwhile, Miller is back at Xavier as head coach after sitting out the 2021-22 season following his firing from Arizona last April.

Richardson said he has declined to respond to emails from the NCAA’s Complex Case Unit, saying there’s no reason to “tell on” Arizona since all of the coaches and players involved in the allegations are no longer there.

The bribery arrest came after he accepted $20,000 from aspiring agent Christian Dawkins in exchange for helping steer UA players toward Dawkins. Dawkins was convicted in two different trials on bribery and wire fraud charges, and in one of those trials a wiretap conversation was played between him and Richardson in which Richardson bragged to Dawkins that “Miller had paid former Arizona center (and future No. 1 NBA Draft pick) Deandre Ayton $10,000 per month to come to Arizona.”

Richardson said that claim, and one reported by Yahoo! that he paid a high school coach $40,000 to help falsify Rawle Alkins’ transcripts, were “pure fabrications” by him.

Said Richardson: “I was recruiting. (Dawkins) wants to do business. … He’s telling me, ‘I got this.’ I’m like, ‘Hey, I got that.’ (It’s like I was) selling him an exotic car. Zero to 60 in three seconds, you ever see it? You get caught up with the banter back and forth. I thought that whole agency thing was full of shit to be 100 percent honest.”