Arizona head coach Sean Miller made his return to the sidelines on Thursday night as the Wildcats hosted Stanford for a Pac-12 game.
Miller received a standing ovation from Arizona fans as he took the floor for the first time since allegedly discussing a $100,000 payment to star freshman Deandre Ayton on a wiretapped phone call. Arizona fans also stood and cheered for Miller a second time when he returned to the floor right before tip-off.
During a press conference earlier on Thursday, Miller denied ever talking to Christian Dawkins about the alleged payment for Ayton while also denying ever paying any players during his time at Arizona.
“Let me be very, very clear: I have never discussed with Christian Dawkins paying Deandre Ayton to attend the University of Arizona,” Miller said. “Anything reporting to the contrary is inaccurate, false and defamatory.”
“There was no such conversation.”
Arizona earned the home win over Stanford on Thursday as the game also marked the return of Allonzo Trier to the Wildcat lineup. Without Miller and Trier, Arizona fell at Oregon last Saturday, as Miller opted to sit out that game the day after the first report came out.
With its win on Thursday, Arizona clinched another Pac-12 title. The Wildcats finish up the regular season hosting Cal on Saturday.