U of A conducts internal probe, initiates dismissal of assistant basketball coach

The U of A will conduct an internal investigation and initiate the dismissal of an assistant basketball coach in the wake of fraud and corruption charges from the FBI.

The University of Arizona will conduct its own internal investigation and begin the dismissal process after assistant coach Emmanuel Richardson was named in a fraud and corruption probe by the FBI, according to a statement from university president Robert Robbins.

“I have directed the University of Arizona to initiate an independent investigation into the alleged actions of Emanuel Richardson and to retain an external law firm to conduct the investigation.

We also have reviewed the specific factual allegations in the criminal complaint and have initiated the dismissal process against Mr. Richardson.

The University of Arizona expects everyone who is part of our campus community to adhere to the highest ethical standards of behavior. Arizona Athletics has a strong culture of compliance that begins at the top and extends throughout the organization. Specifically, the Athletics Department has a documented history of strengthening institutional control by being proactive and comprehensive through rules education and program monitoring.”

Court documents reveal that the FBI and U.S. Attorney have been investigating the matter since 2015. The investigation revealed numerous instances of bribes being offered to potential student-athletes.

A statement by Arizona Board of Regents chair Bill Ridenour also said further review of Richardson’s employment contract is underway

According to the statement, university president Robert Robbins “has full authorization to use any external resources and undertake any other reviews necessary to assure the integrity and dignity of the UA Men’s Basketball Program.”

"The conduct alleged against Emanuel Richardson is absolutely unacceptable. To be clear, the Arizona Board of Regents expects our employees and students to act with the utmost legal and ethical behavior.

Basketball is a beloved sport at the University of Arizona and throughout Arizona. Such illegal – and unethical – behavior is harmful to those we are most committed to serve and educate – the students. It also violates the spirit and purpose of collegiate sport and its essential construct – the student athlete.

President Robbins and the UA are fully cooperating with the FBI as the investigation continues, and the University’s Athletics Compliance unit has initiated its own internal investigation based on NCAA rules. Richardson was immediately suspended from his position when the University learned of the charges. Further review of his employment contract is underway. President Robbins has full authorization to engage any external resources and undertake any other reviews necessary to assure the integrity and dignity of the UA Men’s Basketball Program.

We will maintain our responsibility as stewards of the public trust, especially our students, alumni and fans, in the days and weeks to come. The board will receive additional legal advice regarding the federal investigation and the University’s NCAA obligations at its board meeting this week."

Richardson was one of four coaches from major programs to be named in the charges.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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