Arizona basketball coach Sean Miller has not coached the Wildcats since an ESPN report surfaced alleging he was caught on an FBI wiretap discussing the possibility of paying Deandre Ayton $100,000 to join the program.
On Thursday, just ahead of the start of the Pac-12 men’s basketball tournament, Miller made his first public appearance and discussed the allegations.
Facing the media from a podium, Miller read a prepared statement where he vehemently denied the report from ESPN.
Miller, who will return to the bench to lead Arizona in the Pac-12 tournament, said that the allegations in the ESPN report are “inaccurate and completely false.”
“I regret all the negative attention that has been focused on our program,” Miller said in his statement. “While I have done nothing wrong, I am responsible for our men’s basketball program and I have been sickened that we are in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. I have never knowingly violated NCAA rules while serving as coach of this great program. I have never paid a recruit or prospect … and I never will.”
“Let me be very very clear: I have never discussed with Christian Dawkins paying DeAndre Ayton to attend the University of Arizona,” Miller said. “I also want you to know that the one time someone suggested to me paying a player to come to the University of Arizona I did not agree to it. It did not happen, and that player did not come to the University of Arizona.”
You can watch his full comments in the video above.
No. 19 Arizona returns to the court at 10:00 p.m. ET against the Stanford Cardinal on FOX Sports 1.