FBI wiretaps overheard a phone conversation between Arizona head coach Sean Miller and Christian Dawkins, a man working with ASM Sports heavily involved in the FBI’s investigation of college basketball, where the two spoke upon paying Deandre Ayton $100,000 to make certain he would sign with Arizona, according to ESPN’s Mark Schlabach.
The FBI intercepted over 3,000 hours of phone calls between Dawkins and Miller. Sources told ESPN when Dawkins asked Miller if he should finish the deal with Arizona assistant coach Emanuel “Book” Richardson, he replied he should “deal directly with him [Miller] when it came to money.”
Richardson was fired by Arizona in January after facing federal charges of bribery and fraud in an FBI investigation.
The news comes one day after Arizona guard Allonzo Trier was ruled ineligible by the NCAA after testing positive for a banned substance.
Ayton and Trier led the 14th-ranked Wildcats and the Pac-12 in scoring, each averaging 19.6 points per game. Ayton’s 10.9 rebounds per game is also a Pac-12 best. In two wins over Arizona State this season, the freshman center punished the Sun Devils with 48 points and 35 rebounds.
In CBSSports’ latest 2018 NBA mock draft, Ayton is a projected No. 2 overall pick.