Skip to main content

Arizona Columnist Claims ESPN Got The Player Wrong In Bombshell Arizona Report

Tip off between Missouri and Arizona.

TUCSON, AZ - DECEMBER 13: The Arizona Wildcats tip off against The Missouri Tigers to begin the college basketball game at McKale Center on December 13, 2015 in Tucson, Arizona.(Photo by Nils Nilsen/Getty Images)

An Arizona columnist is claiming ESPN got the name of the player wrong in its bombshell report about Sean Miller and the Wildcats. If true, it would obviously be a massive, massive mistake.

ESPN reported on Friday that FBI wiretaps heard Miller discussing a $100K payment for a five-star recruit. That recruit was reportedly star freshman Deandre Ayton.

"FBI wiretaps intercepted telephone conversations between Arizona coach Sean Miller and Christian Dawkins, a key figure in the FBI's investigation into college basketball corruption, in which Miller discussed paying $100,000 to ensure star freshman Deandre Ayton signed with the Wildcats, sources familiar with the government's evidence told ESPN.

According to people with knowledge of the FBI investigation, Miller and Dawkins, a runner working for ASM Sports agent Andy Miller, had multiple conversations about Ayton. When Dawkins asked Sean Miller if he should work with assistant coach Emanuel "Book" Richardson to finalize their agreement, Miller told Dawkins he should deal directly with him when it came to money, the sources said," reports ESPN.

A long-time Arizona columnist, Greg Hansen, is claiming that ESPN reporter Mark Schlabach got the name of the player wrong. He says it wasn't Ayton.

There has been some questioning of the details of ESPN's report, though none as big as the name of the player.

247Sports reported earlier today that the timeline of ESPN's report was being conflicted by some.

"During a TV report, ESPN said that the phone call took place in the spring of 2017. The network then issued a correction, stating that the phone call between Miller and Dawkins took place in the spring of 2016. ESPN then corrected its first correction, stating that the phone call between Miller and Dawkins took place in the year 2016, removing the "spring" designation.

But the timeline doesn't add up.

A source told 247Sports that Dawkins (who had his phone tapped by the FBI) and Miller had calls intercepted between the timeframe of June 19 of 2017, through Sept. 25.

Sources say that the U.S. Attorney's office notified multiple parties who had conversations with Dawkins that their phone calls had been recorded specifically during the dates of June 19, 2017 and Sept. 25, 2017," reported 247Sports.

This is getting really interesting. Stay tuned.