UofA, Board of Regents: Sean Miller will remain as coach for UofA basketball

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The Board of Regents chairman and University of Arizona president said Sean Miller didn't do anything wrong. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5/AP) The Board of Regents chairman and University of Arizona president said Sean Miller didn't do anything wrong. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5/AP)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The Arizona Board of Regents and University of Arizona's president threw their support behind Sean Miller on Thursday as he will stay on as Arizona basketball head coach.

"At this time we have no reason to believe that Coach Miller violated NCAA rules or any laws regarding the reporting in the media," said Dr. Robert Robbins, president of the University of Arizona.

[RAW VIDEO: Board of Regents chair, UofA president speak about Sean Miller]

"I fully support his decision. The board fully supports his decision," said Board of Regents chairman Bill Ridenour.

ESPN reported last Friday, citing a source, that the FBI had a wiretap on Miller who discussed paying $100,000 to Wildcats freshman Deandre Ayton to play for the team.

[READ MORE: Wildcat Breakdown: The Bribery Scandal]

Robbins said he and the board met with Miller earlier this week and that he answered every question they asked.

"While some might be tempted to a rush to judgment when there is intense public pressure, due process is the bedrock of fair treatment and acting with integrity," said Robbins.

Miller also denied the media reports on Thursday to the media.

[RELATED: UPDATE: U of A will retain Sean Miller as Head Coach]

"There was no such conversation," Miller said Thursday. "These statements have damaged me, my family, the university, Deandre Ayton and his incredible family."

Ayton and his family denied receiving any money from Dawkins and Miller issued a statement last Saturday saying he was confident he would be vindicated. He took it a step further with his statement on Thursday.

[RAW VIDEO: Sean Miller staying on as UA coach]

"I cannot remain silent on media reports that have impugned the reputation of me, the university and sullied the name of a tremendous young man, Deandre Ayton," Miller said. "Let me be very, very clear: I have never discussed with Christian Dawkins paying Deandre Ayton to attend the University of Arizona. In fact, I never spoke to or met Christian Dawkins until after Deandre publicly announced he was coming to our school. Any reporting to the contrary is inaccurate, false and defamatory. I'm outraged by the media statements that have been made and the acceptance by many that these statements were true."

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Miller will coach Thursday night when the Wildcats take on Stanford and the rest of the season.

Robbins also applauded Ayton in the middle of the scandal.

"Deandre Ayton, who has been subjected to false public reports that impugn his reputation has our full support," said Robbins.

Robbins said the university will continue to investigate and release a report. He added that the university has no plant for legal action against ESPN.

Below is a statement from the University of Arizona.

We have decided that Sean Miller will remain the University of Arizona's men's basketball coach. 

Media reports last Friday alleged that Coach Miller was caught on a wiretap discussing a payment with a representative of a sports agency regarding one of our student-athletes. Since those reports broke, we have sought to learn everything that we can from Coach Miller about the allegations. As Coach Miller's employer, we acted to investigate these reports. 

Earlier this week, we met with Coach Miller at length and asked him direct and pointed questions. He was eager to speak with us and answered every question we asked. At this time we have no reason to believe that Coach Miller violated NCAA rules or any laws regarding the allegation reported in the media. Additionally, he has a record of compliance with NCAA rules, and he has been cooperative with this process.

While some might be tempted to rush to judgment when there is intense public pressure, due process is the bedrock of fair treatment and acting with integrity. With that in mind, we will continue to pursue every avenue of inquiry available to us during an active federal investigation to fully understand the facts. We recognize that investigation is ongoing, and we will continue to be respectful and cooperative through its conclusion. Steptoe & Johnson continues its investigation into our athletics compliance, and we will carefully review and act on its conclusions. We anticipate this report will be thorough and based on facts.

We want to thank our student-athletes for the strength they have exhibited during this challenging situation. We are confident that they will continue to respond with commitment, integrity and excellence. Deandre Ayton, who has been subjected to false, public reports that impugned his reputation, has our full support. We ask that the Wildcat Family rally behind these young men and our coaching staff tonight and throughout the rest of our season. 

Thank you.

Robert C. Robbins
President

Dave Heeke
Director of Athletics

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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