Federal prosecutors played a recording in a courtroom Wednesday which suggested that Arizona men’s basketball coach Sean Miller paid former player Deandre Ayton $10,000 a month while in the Wildcats’ program, ESPN reported.
In a conversation between assistant coach Emanuel Richardson and aspiring agent Christian Dawkins, reportedly to work on a plan to lure Ayton to Dawkins’ sports management company, the Wildcats assistant revealed the sum being paid.
“You know what he bought per month?” Richardson asked Dawkins, while talking about Miller and Ayton.
“What he do?” Dawkins replied.
“I told you … 10,” Dawkins said.
In February, ESPN already reported that FBI wiretaps revealed that Dawkins and Miller had discussed a price tag of $100,000 to get Ayton to come to Arizona. The 7-foot-1 center, who is a native of the Bahamas, played the 2017-18 season at Arizona before leaving for the NBA.
Ayton was a No. 1 overall selection in last year’s NBA draft and just completed his rookie season with the Phoenix Suns.
Dawkins is currently on trial for bribing college coaches. Not only does court testimony and multiple recordings appear to connect Dawkins and Richardson in the scheme, a business partner of Dawkins has already pleaded guilty to three felony counts related to the case.
Munish Sood, a partner of Dawkins, has already testified that Richardson accepted a $5,000 payment in June of 2017 to steer multiple Arizona players, including Ayton, to Dawkins’ agency, ESPN said.