Sean Miller came out guns blazing at a report from ESPN’s Mark Schlabach that he was caught on an FBI wiretap discussing paying Deandre Ayton $100k with Christian Dawkins, an associate of agent Andy Miller. Shortly thereafter, Sports Illustrated’s Michael McCann cited a source familiar with the FBI’s college basketball investigation as saying essentially that Miller’s account is correct and Schlabach’s is inaccurate:
According to the source, relevant FBI wiretaps in the investigation did not begin until 2017—months after five-star recruit Deandre Ayton had already committed to Arizona in Sept. 2016. This account is consistent with reporting by Evan Daniels of 247Sports. The recruitment of Ayton, therefore, would have not been at issue in an intercepted phone call that occurred in 2017. To that end, the source told SI what Miller clarified for the first time Thursday: Ayton is not the player on whose behalf former ASM Sports employee Christian Dawkins allegedly sought a payment from Miller, and Miller never pursued or made any payments to a recruit associated with Dawkins.
This account depicts Miller as complying with both the law and NCAA recruiting rules. The same holds true of Ayton, whose compliance with NCAA rules would ensure that he remains eligible to play for the final month of his freshman year.
In other words: Buckle up.