Possibly because they are waiting to see if additional evidence might surface to strengthen a request, defense attorneys have not — as of midday Friday — filed a written motion to reconsider having Arizona head coach Sean Miller testify in the ongoing college basketball bribery trial.
U.S. District Court Judge Edgardo Ramos ruled last week in favor of prosecutors' motion not to allow Miller to testify, saying his actions were irrelevant to the bribery charges facing would-be agent Christian Dawkins. Ramos said again Thursday that nothing had changed in his stance.
Defense attorney Steve Haney asked Ramos on Thursday to reconsider, saying videotaped discussion from Dawkins shown to the jury Wednesday made a Miller testimony relevant. According to a transcript of Thursday’s court proceedings in New York, U.S. attorney Noah Solowiejczyk responded by saying prosecutors would prefer to respond to such a request in writing.
“Our understanding of Mr. Haney's purpose in trying to call Sean Miller is to somehow establish that since Christian Dawkins didn't seek to bribe him, he must not have sought to bribe these other coaches,” Solowiejczyk said. “I'd also note there was some testimony with — in the first meeting that we listened to where Christian Dawkins explained on tape why you don't bribe head coaches but you did bribe assistant coaches which just further undercuts what Mr. Haney is trying to do here. If your Honor is actually considering revisiting this ruling, we'd like to submit something in writing.”
Ramos responded by saying he wasn’t going to stop Haney from asking in writing, but that the video had already been presented before his initial decision to disallow testimony from Miller and therefore “nothing has changed.”
In a pretrial hearing last week, Haney mentioned evidence that he said "establishes very clearly that Sean Miller is paying players at Arizona." Defense attorneys said they intended to play audio records and show text messages that would provide context into Dawkins and former Adidas rep Merl Code's actions.
The full transcript of the conversation Thursday concerning a Miller testimony is attached.
Later, as FBI videos were played in front of the jury, prosecutor Robert Boone asked cooperating witness Marty Blazer what Code meant when he said that ex-UA assistant Book Richardson’s “concern is about the next kid and being able to take care of whatever situations are coming up."
Blazer replied: “I understood that to mean Book — Book's concern isn't necessarily what he was — players that he was coaching at Arizona were going to elevate into the professional ranks.
“Book's concern was more about recruiting and recruiting from that grassroots level and what Book needed money-wise to recruit that player at the grassroots level to encourage them to come to or incentivize them to come to Arizona.
“So, Book's concern was the grassroots level, was recruiting and what money was needed to ensure that he recruited the highest level elite basketball players to come to Arizona. And that's what he was going to be — that was the standard by which he was going to be elevated eventually to a head coaching level."
Richardson pleaded guilty in January to one federal bribery charge. He'll be sentenced next month.
CBS' Matt Norlander tweeted about Friday's activity in the trial, including Munish Sood testifying that he gave Richardson $15,000 in the summer of 2017. The federal complaint in September 2017 said an undercover FBI agent posing as an investor in Sood and Richardson's partnership handed Richardson the $15,000 while in Sood's New Jersey office.
Munish Sood testified Friday that he met Arizona asst Book Richardson in summer of 2017, along with an undercover agent, and gave Richardson $15,000 via a previous request from Dawkins. "I believe payment was for Emmanuel Richardson to recruit a specific player," Sood said.— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) April 26, 2019
Sood also testified about the Las Vegas meeting he had with Richardson, which was also a part of the initial federal complaint.
Sood testified he met Arizona coach Book Richardson at a lounge at the MGM hotel (the timeline would suggest this was during the 2017 Pac-12 tournament) and the meeting was to reconnect on Richardson's "access to, hopefully, some of his top players."— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) April 26, 2019
Marty Blazer's testimony is over. Another cooperating witness, Minush Sood, is undergoing direct examination from the prosecution. A few leftovers from Blazer from earlier, then a little from Sood, who offered up new information, $ amounts, players who were recruited to advise.— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) April 26, 2019