Arizona coach Sean Miller and LSU coach Will Wade have been notified they will be subpoenaed during the federal trial in April involving college basketball corruption, Yahoo reported Monday. Adam Zagoria, a New York-based reporter and Star contributor, confirmed the report shortly after the Yahoo story was published.
The story follows Yahoo's Feb. 4 report that there was a "strong expectation" Miller would be subpoenaed, after which Miller declined to comment during a news conference at McKale Center. Miller has denied ever paying players to enroll at Arizona. The notifications, made to representatives for the coaches, are "essentially a courtesy to avoid a public spectacle for the coaches, like getting served in the midst of a game or a practice," Yahoo reported.
Miller isn't the only UA basketball coach to make news this season. Arizona announced two days after Yahoo's last report that it was moving to fire assistant coach Mark Phelps, the second time it has done so with an assistant in the last 18 months. The UA removed Book Richardson following his September 2017 arrest on federal bribery charges.
Richardson accepted a plea agreement, but aspiring agent Christian Dawkins is still scheduled to go to trial. Part of Dawkins' defense is expected to be showing that he was not bribing coaches.
If Miller is subpoenaed and has done nothing wrong, he could testify to that. Or, as Yahoo reported, the coach could try to either quash the subpoena or plead the fifth.
"The potential of Miller on the stand could end up as a tipping point for his future at Arizona, as there’s a certain risk and embarrassment that comes with the potential testimony," Yahoo's story said.
Miller has received public support from both UA president Robert C. Robbins and athletic director Dave Heeke. Heeke said earlier this month that he remains "confident in the program" under Miller's watch. And just Sunday, the AD tweeted about a "terrific group of players and coaches" following the Wildcats' win over Stanford.
Arizona AD Dave Heeke addresses the cloud surrounding UA basketball.— The Wildcaster (@TheWildcaster) February 10, 2019
“We support this basketball program, we support these players, support this coaching staff. ... We support Coach (Sean) Miller and the leadership of this program.” pic.twitter.com/6ZbhDP9sz0