U of A assistant basketball coach suspended in wake of fraud, corruption charges

Emmanuel Richardson faces accusations of receiving payment from pro agents for steering young players to their agencies.

TUCSON, Ariz. - The University of Arizona basketball program has suspended assistant coach Emanuel “Book” Richardson after authorities announced several NCAA coaches would be charged in a fraud and corruption probe.

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.

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

According to USA Today, the basketball coaches were indicted in a fraud and corruption scheme  — which also included managers, financial advisers and representatives of a major international sportswear company — by federal authorities on Tuesday.

READ: FBI arrests four college basketball assistants on charges of fraud

The University of Arizona released a statement saying it was "appalled to learn of the allegations" against Richardson.

We were aware of the Department of Justice's investigation this morning and we are cooperating fully with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's office. Assistant coach Emmanuel Richardson was immediately suspended and relieved of all duties. We were appalled to learn of the allegations as they do not reflect the standards we hold ourselves to and require for our colleagues. The University of Arizona has a strong culture of compliance and the expectation is we follow the rules.

Students in Tucson were not pleaded with the news Tuesday.

"Basketball is one of our main sports. Everybody goes to basketball games so it's annoying that our team is is in trouble," said Hallie Mcculloch, a freshman at the University of Arizona.

"It's a real bad image on the school and a real bad image on the school because it shies recruits away from here," said U of A student John Cameron.

"It was one man's actions but ya'll hired him so it's ya'lls fault too," Cameron said, referring to the school.

"Bribery is a crime and no matter how you look at it, unless you want to play favorites, the guy has to be punished for what he did," said U of A student Jacob George.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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