Friday, February 05, 2010
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Coach Miller: Self-sanctions coming for Arizona

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[February 05, 2010]  SEATTLE (AP) -- Arizona first-year coach Sean Miller said late Thursday his school will impose its own sanctions on the basketball program for violations by former coach Lute Olson related to an offseason AAU tournament in 2008.

Miller confirmed the action after his Pac-10 co-leading Wildcats lost at Washington.

InsuranceHe did not confirm or deny a report that the Wildcats are going to sacrifice a scholarship, recruiting days in the summer and on-campus visits by recruits.

"I'm aware of it. It doesn't come as a surprise to me," Miller said. "I'm very confident that our university and our athletic department is handling it the way it should be handled."

Miller, whose young, surprising team (11-10, 6-4 Pac-10) next plays Saturday night at Washington State, said he's been aware of the situation since well before the former coach at Xavier took the Arizona job in April.


Olson returned to lead the Wildcats in the spring of 2008, after missing the previous season while on personal leave. A few months later, Arizona athletic director Jim Livengood announced Olson had sent a letter to a basketball boosters group asking for a donation to Jim Storey's Arizona Cactus Classic basketball tournament, held in May 2008 at the university's McKale Center.

NCAA rules prohibit institutional representatives or boosters from arranging financial assistance for potential recruits.

Olson denied any knowledge of the letter, sent over his electronic signature, or of the request for donations. He called it a "clear-cut violation of NCAA rules."

The NCAA began an investigation.

Arizona would be the second Pac-10 men's basketball team to impose its own sanctions in the last month, though the Wildcats appear destined for far more minor penalties than Southern California received from its own university.

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A USC investigation found rules were violated during current NBA player O.J. Mayo's lone season with the Trojans in 2007-08 under former coach Tim Floyd. On Jan. 3, USC announced a one-year ban on postseason play following the current regular season, including the Pac-10 tournament; a loss of one scholarship for this season and the 2010-2011 season; a loss of one coach permitted to engage in off-campus recruiting during the summer of 2010; and the loss of 20 recruiting days (from 130 to 110) for the 2010-2011 academic year.

USC is also vacating 21 victories during the 2007-08 season, when Mayo competed while ineligible.

[Associated Press; By GREGG BELL]

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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