The lawyer representing the family of DeAndre Ayton, the alleged player discussed in Sean Miller’s FBI wiretap conversations, is denying any wrongdoing and urging that Ayton’s name be publicly cleared.
“The parents of DeAndre Ayton and his family are outraged and disgusted by the reported recent news stories which have falsely implied that her son or his family have any involvement in illegal or prohibited activities regarding his decision to matriculate to the University of Arizona,” Lynden B. Rose said in a statement Saturday night.
Rose outlines Ayton stated to the FBI more than six months ago that he “never discussed or solicited payments” from anyone at the university, any shoe company or other person and that his decision to attend Arizona was because of his family ties to Phoenix.
“Although the FBI does not routinely do so (although exceptions have been made), DeAndre’s family certainly believes it is appropriate for that law enforcement agency, as well as NCAA and University of Arizona, to make public statements which unquestionably clears DeAndre’s good name,” Rose added in the statement.
ESPN reported on Friday that Miller was caught on an FBI wiretap discussing a $100,000 payment regarding Ayton with former ASM Sports employee Christian Dawkins.
Miller said in a statement that he is confident he will be vindicated but did not coach Arizona in Saturday’s 98-93 overtime loss to Oregon, nor did he fly back to the university on the team charter.
Ayton, a 7-1 center, played in the game and scored 28 points. He is one of the nation’s best players this season, averaging 19.1 points and 10.6 rebounds per game.
In an FBI wiretap, Sean Miller allegedly discussed a $100,000 payment regarding DeAndre Ayton.
(Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
Ayton is among several active college basketball players who have been linked to possible illegal payments in the FBI’s investigation of bribery and corruption in college basketball.
Duke’s Wendell Carter Jr., Kentucky’s Kevin Knox and Michigan State’s Miles Bridges are some of the players whose names appeared in documents showing payments from Dawkins and ASM Sports, which Yahoo! Sports released on Friday.
They continued to play this weekend with their universities quickly clearing them of any eligibility issues.
Carter said after Duke’s win over Syracuse on Saturday that he did not do anything wrong while head coach Mike Krzyzewski said he was “confident” about Carter’s eligibility.
The University of Kentucky said they reviewed the Yahoo! Sports report and determined there were no eligibility issues concerning any of its student-athletes. Michigan State’s athletic director said they conducted an internal review of the report and that Bridges was “cleared for competition moving forward.”
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