So, about that Arizona men’s basketball infractions case …
Dan Wolken of USA Today is reporting that the NCAA Division I Board of Directors is “expected to adopt several significant modifications to the infractions process” during a meeting Wednesday. Among those changes, per Wolken, would be dismantling the Independent Accountability Review Process (IARP) and doing away with postseason bans.
The IARP is currently reviewing the NCAA’s case against Arizona, including several alleged Level I recruiting violations committed by the men’s basketball program under Sean Miller. It has been doing so since December 2020, yet according to the timeline on the IARP web site no progress has been made since late May.
The case against Arizona stems from alleged violations by a pair of Miller’s assistants, Book Richardson and Mark Phelps, date back to the 2017-18 season. Richardson was arrested in September 2017 as part of an FBI bribery sting, while Phelps was suspended by the UA in February 2019 for, among other things, reportedly helping one-time commit Shareef O’Neal with an online class.
It’s unknown what would happen to Arizona’s case if the IARP went away, though one might say the Wildcats have already faced enough punishment. Miller was fired after the 2020-21 season and is now back at Xavier, while his final UA team self-imposed a postseason ban and current coach Tommy Lloyd has held off on using his full allotment of scholarships in anticipation of losing some whenever (if ever?) official penalties were announced.