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Arizona's Miller paid Suns' Ayton $10K per month, wiretaps show

By Connor Grott
Arizona's Miller paid Suns' Ayton $10K per month, wiretaps show
Arizona Wildcats head men's basketball coach Sean Miller was accused of paying current Phoenix Suns center DeAndre Ayton $10,000 per month in federal court. Seven wiretaps were played in court, with multiple references to Miller paying Ayton. File Photo by Mark Goldman/UPI | License Photo

May 1 (UPI) -- Arizona Wildcats men's head basketball coach Sean Miller paid current Phoenix Suns center DeAndre Ayton $10,000 per month while he was enrolled at the school, secret recordings played in court Wednesday indicate.

Federal prosecutors played seven wiretap recordings in a Manhattan court, including an FBI-intercepted phone call from June 2017 between then-Arizona associate head coach Emanuel "Book" Richardson and basketball middleman and aspiring sports agent Christian Dawkins,

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On the call, Richardson told Dawkins that Miller was paying, or promised to pay, $10,000 each month to Ayton. Ayton later became the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Another call between Dawkins and Richardson discussed the possibility of Dawkins' management company signing Ayton. During that phone conversation, Miller was brought up.

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"You know what he bought per month," Richardson said about what he thought Miller was paying Ayton.

"What he do?" Dawkins said.

"I told you, 10," Richardson responded.

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"Hey, he's putting up some real money for them [racial slur]," Dawkins said.

Also during the conversations, the two discussed that Richardson didn't need to use the $20,000 that Dawkins' company was going to provide to compensate Wildcats player Rawle Alkins because Miller was "taking care" of him.

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"You already know, Sean's taking care of Rawle and them," Dawkins said. "So it ain't no expense to Rawle. So that's easy."

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There were also talks of Jahvon Quinerly's mother requesting between $20,000 and $25,000 from Arizona. Quinerly originally committed to the school, but backed out after Dawkins and Merl Code, a former Adidas consultant, were arrested in September 2017. Quinerly played at Villanova last year but is transferring.

Miller has denied violating any NCAA rules while coaching at Arizona. The trial of Dawkins and co-defendant Code is currently ongoing in Lower Manhattan. Dawkins testified Monday morning.

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