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Arizona AD talks about allegations against Wildcat coaches in FBI probe

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Here's a release from the University of Arizona Athletic Department and statement from A.D. Dave Heeke:

ADDRESSING THE NEWS FROM TUESDAY

With Tuesday’s news regarding Emanuel Richardson, we felt it would be inappropriate to send a traditional Wildcat Wednesday. Instead, we felt the need to address this topic, while sharing the statements we provided to the public.

Here is Tuesday’s statement from the athletics department:

“We became aware of the situation involving one of our men's basketball coaches Emanuel Richardson this morning. We have been working in conjunction with the University, and have confirmed that Richardson has been suspended effective immediately. We will cooperate fully with authorities as they move through their investigation.

We work under the basic directive that all department personnel operate within applicable laws and NCAA rules. The behavior that Richardson is accused of is completely unacceptable and does not reflect the principles of this athletics department.”

As the situation developed, University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins shared this statement on Wednesday:

I have directed the University of Arizona to initiate an independent investigation into the alleged actions of Emanuel Richardson and to retain an external law firm to conduct the investigation.

We also have reviewed the specific factual allegations in the criminal complaint and have initiated the dismissal process against Mr. Richardson.

The University of Arizona expects everyone who is part of our campus community to adhere to the highest ethical standards of behavior. Arizona Athletics has a strong culture of compliance that begins at the top and extends throughout the organization. Specifically, the Athletics Department has a documented history of strengthening institutional control by being proactive and comprehensive through rules education and program monitoring.”

To recap, after we became aware of the allegations, the university initiated a full internal investigation, which remains ongoing. On Tuesday, Richardson was immediately suspended, and then earlier today, the university initiated the dismissal process against him.

I want to reiterate. We pride ourselves on fostering a culture of compliance. We have and will continue to have a positive and productive relationship with the NCAA through our compliance programs. These programs afford us the opportunity to engage with our coaches and student-athletes through a variety of tools, including rules education, monitoring, and regular in-person interaction.

We have not, and will not, tolerate those that operate outside NCAA rules. This is not how we expect our university and this athletics department to be represented, and we assure you that we will continue to prioritize integrity in all that we do.

Bear Down with Pride,

Dave Heeke
Director of Athletics
University of Arizona
uofaad@arizona.edu

Here's more on reports that the FBI investigation into Arizona assistant coach Book Richardson and other NCAA coaches also reveals an alleged offer of $150,000 to a U of A recruit, and how the federal charges involving the U of A could hurt future recruiting:

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