Oh Tom avocado?? What was that about

By: Java



Usc and the death penalty? After release of Sean Miller's call records, Arizona regents schedule meeting for legal discussion The Arizona board of regents will meet in a closed session on Thursday for "an update" to the university's investigation of the men's basketball program. THE ARIZONA BOARD of regents has scheduled a special board meeting for Thursday "for legal advice and discussion" regarding the University of Arizona's men's basketball program. The meeting, which is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET Thursday at Arizona State's downtown Phoenix campus, comes less than two weeks after allegations of pay-for-play schemes involving the Wildcats surfaced in a federal criminal trial that led to the convictions of Adidas executive Jim Gatto, former Adidas consultant Merl Code and Christian Dawkins, a former runner and aspiring agent. Sarah Harper, spokeswoman for the board of regents, said the meeting was scheduled to give the regents an update of the university's investigation of its men's basketball program. "This is a regular update to the regents and it is an executive session," Harper said. University of Arizona president Robert C. Robbins is expected to address the board during the meeting. The session is closed to the public. "They can't take personnel action in an executive session," Harper said. "All board actions have to take place in public." Dawkins, Code and Gatto were convicted last week of felony conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud related to pay-for-play schemes to send high-profile recruits to Adidas-sponsored schools including Kansas, Louisville and NC State. On Sunday night, ESPN reported that Dawkins made or received phone calls from a number associated with Arizona coach Sean Miller at least 13 times from May 3, 2017, to July 2, 2017. The records show that each of the calls Dawkins made to or received from the number assigned to Miller lasted at least five minutes. ESPN obtained Dawkins' cell numbers through evidentiary files that were made public after the federal corruption trial. Among other allegations during the corruption trial, Brian Bowen Sr., the father of former Louisville signee Brian "Tugs" Bowen, testified that former Arizona assistant Joe Pasternack offered $50,000 for his son to sign with the Wildcats. Bowen Sr. testified that Dawkins relayed Pasternack's offer to him. Defense attorneys also suggested during the trial that Arizona offered -- or was prepared to offer -- $150,000 for highly regarded prospect Nassir Little to sign with the Wildcats. The government and defense attorneys agreed that the money wasn't requested by Dawkins on behalf of Little's family. Little is a freshman at North Carolina. ESPN reported in February that Dawkins and Miller had discussions about a $100,000 payment that ensured that star center Deandre Ayton, the No. 1 pick in June's NBA draft, signed with the Wildcats from the class of 2017. In a statement on Feb. 25, Arizona's outside counsel, Paul Kelly, said Ayton "credibly and consistently maintained that neither he nor any member of his family" received money to influence his decision during multiple interviews with federal prosecutors, the FBI and NCAA. At the time, Miller denied the allegations -- and adamantly insisted he had never willfully broken NCAA rules. "I have never knowingly violated NCAA rules while serving as head coach of this great program," Miller said, while reading from a statement on March 1. "I have never paid a recruit or prospect or their family or representative to come to Arizona. I never have, and I never will. I have never arranged or directed payment or any improper benefits to a recruit or a prospect or their family or representative, and I never will." Miller did say then that someone once asked him to provide payment to a player, but he declined to do it. It's unclear if he was referring to Dawkins. "The one time that someone suggested to me paying a player to come to the University of Arizona, I did not agree to do it," Miller said. "It never happened, and that player did not come to the University of Arizona." Former Adidas consultant Thomas "T.J." Gassnola, who was a cooperating witness for the government during the corruption trial, testified that he gave $15,000 to a friend of Ayton's family to deliver to the player's mother while Ayton was in high school. In a text message Gassnola sent to Kansas coach Bill Self, Gassnola expressed disappointment that he couldn't help deliver Ayton to the Jayhawks. Evidence presented by the government during this month's trial revealed Dawkins also claimed to be closely associated with former Arizona guard Rawle Alkins, who was a two-year starting guard at Arizona from 2016 to 2018 before turning pro. He went undrafted and signed a two-way deal with the Chicago Bulls in July. In the Sept. 5, 2017, email Dawkins sent to his business partner Munish Sood, he detailed payments he planned to make to Alkins and his cousin, Rodney Labossiere. Labossiere, who grew up with Alkins in New York, moved to Tucson, Arizona, in September 2017, according to property records reviewed by Outside the Lines. Dawkins wrote that he planned to pay Alkins $2,500 per month from September 2017 through April 2018 -- when Alkins was still playing for Arizona -- plus $30,000 in travel expenses for his family. He also wanted to give Labossiere a four-year deal to work as a manager for his sports management company. Miller could not be reached for comment on Sunday. The university issued a statement saying, "The University of Arizona is aware of the information that has appeared in media reports regarding the just completed trial in New York. We are continuing to review the matter and will take such steps as are deemed necessary and appropriate based upon credible and reliable evidence. Out of respect for the judicial and administrative processes involved, we have no further comment at this time." Former UA assistant Emanuel "Book" Richardson was indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly accepting bribes from Dawkins and others to influence Arizona players to sign with Dawkins' fledgling sports management agency and certain financial advisors. He is scheduled for trial in April and faces charges of soliciting bribes as an agent of a federally funded organization and of two counts of fraud. Arizona officials have denied multiple open-records requests from ESPN for any subpoenas the university received from the federal government for information and grand jury testimony related to the investigation. They also have declined to provide Miller's cellphone records and his correspondence with university officials. They repeatedly cited "the balancing test established by the Arizona courts to protect the best interests of the state" in their refusal to release the records. EDITOR'S PICKS Call records link Arizona's Sean Miller, Creighton's Greg McDermott to Brian Bowen II recruitment An Outside the Lines analysis of cellphone records from a man convicted in a collegiate pay-for-play scheme shows calls made to and from numbers associated with college basketball coaches, including Arizona's Sean Miller and Creighton's Greg McDermott. Wiretap audio evidence in college hoops pay-for-play released Listen to federal wiretaps obtained by Outside the Lines that detail schemes that landed felony convictions this week in the FBI's college basketball corruption case.
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