Arizona head coach Sean Miller and the school agreed to a new contract on Friday with one major provision being added after a tumultuous year off the court for the Wildcats.
According to a report from Anne Ryman of the Republic, the new amendment to the contract has Miller forfeiting $1 million if he commits a major NCAA violation or if he’s criminally charged relating to his employment. The Arizona Board of Regents and Arizona Athletic Director Dave Heeke all supported the contract amendment, which protects the school a little bit in light of assistant coach Emanuel “Book” Richardson being involved in the FBI investigation into college basketball last fall.
Miller has also been linked to a potential payment to star center Deandre Ayton in a disputed ESPN report — although Miller has publicly denied any involvement before returning to the Arizona sidelines to finish out the season.
If Miller were to forfeit the money under the new provision, it would come from his “longevity bonus” in stock that was set up by a private donor for Miller in 2014. That bonus payment is due in May 2020 as Miller’s vested share in the stock is now worth $4.1 million. The company of Miller’s stock, Andeavor Logistics LP, was also publicly revealed for the first time by Arizona.
Miller’s contract remains mostly the same besides for the $1 million forfeiture amendment as it runs through May 31, 2022. Clearly, the school trusts that Miller had no part in the Ayton allegations. The school has also protected themselves a little bit in case any new evidence comes to light and Miller is forced out.
Nothing will come of this contract provision unless something else major happens to Miller or the Arizona program. For now, we’ll just have to wait and see how the Ayton saga might play out.