It has been a crazy day for the Arizona Wildcat basketball program and their fans. At noon Arizona time, the university held a press conference for Sean Miller where they denied the information in ESPN’s Adam Schlabach report accusing Miller of discussing payment for star recruit Deandre Ayton $100,000 to attend Arizona on a phone call that was wire tapped. In addition, the Wildcats announced that Miller would remain Arizona’s coach moving forward. In the press conference, Sean Miller called ESPN’s bluff and claimed the wiretap phone call doesn’t even exist. A huge war between Arizona and ESPN may be brewing. Our own Jacob Allen had questioned this story all along.
Here’s an excerpt from Miller today at his press conference, as tweeted by the same outlet that reported the original story about him:
“Never have, never will.”
Sean Miller strongly denies any wrongdoing. pic.twitter.com/tAn7wN0ebN
— ESPN (@espn) March 1, 2018
Sean Miller doesn’t make the statement he makes today unless he is 100% confident that wiretap doesn’t exist. After watching his name and DeAndre Ayton’s name dragged through the mud the last week, it’s hard not to pull for UofA going forward
— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) March 1, 2018
This was a story that blew up on Twitter and gave afternoon radio shows an endless amount of talking points. Although many schools will deny allegations and hide, Arizona is moving full speed ahead. The program will continue to focus on their season and ignore the swarm of media tonight as they have announced that Sean Miller will be coaching tonight’s home game against Stanford.
In other news out of Tuscon today, the school announced that Allonzo Trier had his eligibility reinstated as well. The Arizona Athletics account tweeted, “We just received word that Allonzo Trier has been cleared for participation and will play in tonight’s game versus Stanford. We appreciate the NCAA granting this appeal and their understanding of this unique situation.”
On February 28th, Trier was suspended indefinitely on after testing positive for a PED test conducted in January. It was the second time Trier had tested positive for PEDs as he was suspended for 19 games to begin the 2017-2018 season. Arizona appealed the recent suspension and seems to have won. Having Trier back is obviously a huge boost for the first place Wildcats, as he leads the team with 19.6 points and is shooting an efficient 54 percent from the field.
Today was a good day for Arizona as they got their head coach and star player back in a matter of six hours, just days after their season looked to be over. Both Miller and Trier looked to be dead in the water with their Arizona basketball careers toasted. Now, they both join the floor together to face a Stanford team as 11 point favorites. The Wildcats late 10:00PM EST tip off is now must watch television.
When I was 10 years old, 1967 Heisman trophy winner Gary Beban told me the old saying: “Believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see”. This Arizona team should be an interesting story to watch. Sharing the sentiment of other Big J’s, the University of Arizona is 100% certain that ESPN is full of crap by taking an aggressive stance like this. I love it and the atmosphere in McKale should be insane tonight. I almost feel bad for the Stanford Cardinal tonight. Pac-12 After Dark is must watch television tonight and we will see if Sean Miller starts to sweat with the whole college basketball world watching him.