Arizona Regents hold emergency meeting regarding UA basketball

Feb 24, 2018, 8:15 PM | Updated: 8:21 pm

Arizona coach Sean Miller watch his team during practice Wednesday, March 22, 2017, in San Jose, Ca...

Arizona coach Sean Miller watch his team during practice Wednesday, March 22, 2017, in San Jose, Calif., in preparation for an NCAA men's college basketball tournament West Regional semifinal against Xavier on Thursday. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

PHOENIX – The Arizona Board of Regents held an emergency meeting Saturday to discuss the circumstances surrounding the University of Arizona men’s basketball program, according to a release.

The emergency meeting was held to obtain legal advice following an ESPN report of FBI wiretaps that have Arizona head coach Sean Miller on record discussing potential payments to Deandre Ayton.

Arizona Board of Regents Chair Bill Ridenour said in a statement “the board holds the highest expectations for a culture of excellence in our intercollegiate athletic programs.”

Leadership, integrity and honor are core values to advance success and to support our student athletes. These premiums must not be compromised. The board is confident UA President Robbins will uphold UA’s commitment to its core values and the UA family. Equally, the board is committed to acting in the best interest of our universities.

This is an emotionally charged issue but it is essential that we move forward decisively and based on facts.

The University of Arizona released a statement regarding the reports earlier Saturday, saying that Miller and the university had agreed it to be in the best interest of the team for him to not coach the Wildcats’ game against Oregon on Saturday night.

The university also said that Ayton was eligible and would play.

In a separate statement, Miller echoed the message from the university, adding that he continues to “fully support the university’s efforts to fully investigate this matter and I am confident that I will be vindicated.”

Sean Miller had conversations with a key figure in the FBI’s investigation into college basketball corruption that revealed a discussion of paying $100,000 to ensure a commitment from Ayton.

The wiretaps intercepted conversations on the phone between Sean Miller and Christian Dawkins, a runner working for ASM Sports agent Andy Miller.

In a report from Yahoo! Sports, emails between Dawkins and Andy Miller reveal how programs such as Arizona, Michigan State and Indiana attempt to go about recruiting.

Ayton, a nominee for Freshman and Player of the Year this season, is considered to be a potential No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.

Ridenour said in the statement that the Board of Regents would meet again once they have received additional information regarding the issue.

“The board is reviewing its oversight of athletics and has been making reforms to its policies to ensure greater public accountability,” he said.

“The board is committed to meeting in the next several days as new information becomes available and to receive additional legal advice.”

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Arizona Regents hold emergency meeting regarding UA basketball