Less than a week after a jury found former adidas basketball employees James Gatto and Merl Code Jr. and former runner/aspiring agent Christian Dawkins guilty on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, it was reported by the Arizona Daily Star that the Arizona Board of Regents will meet Thursday to discuss the trial and the Arizona men’s basketball program.
Per the report this is more about updating the Board of Regents on the case and its impact on Arizona than it is making any kind of decision on the program.
It was reported earlier in the week by ESPN that Dawkins, who was found guilty on three counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, “wrote of a plan to pay Rawle Alkins and his family $50,000” during the 2017-18 season in hopes to secure him as a client for the sports management business he wanted to get started.
Also, during the trial it was alleged that former Arizona assistant Joe Pasternack offered $50,000 in an attempt to recruit Brian “Tugs” Bowen Jr. Bowen’s father said during his testimony that he was made aware of this alleged offer by Dawkins. During his testimony Bowen Sr. admitted that he and Dawkins agreed to a payment of $100,000 in exchange for his son attending Louisville, which has a lucrative sponsorship/apparel deal with adidas. Bowen Sr. stated that he received $19,000 of the total fee that was agreed upon.
“We always knew we would need to monitor things closely as the judicial proceedings elsewhere proceeded. We are now convening for another update in the wake of the trials that were carried out within the past several weeks,” Regent Jay Heiler said in an interview with The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com.
Per the Arizona Daily Star’s report there’s no plan for the Board of Regents to take any action during Thursday’s meeting. Arizona head coach Sean Miller was not accused of any wrongdoing by prosecutors during the trial of Dawkins, Gatto and Code, and he’s long claimed to have done nothing wrong regarding the recruitment of any players who have been connected to the FBI investigation.
Arizona conducted an investigation of its own after allegations regarding the recruitment of former center Deandre Ayton came to light in February, finding that Miller had not violated any NCAA rules and would continue to serve as the program’s head coach.
Former Arizona assistant coach Emanuel “Book” Richardson will go on trial in April for allegedly receiving $20,000 in bribes in exchange for funneling players to a sports management firm. Richardson has pleaded not guilty to the charge.