Sean Miller is out as the basketball coach at Arizona after 12 seasons with the Wildcats, the university announced Wednesday. Miller, whose contract was set to expire next season, has been in precarious spot with the school's administration while Arizona awaits its punishment after the NCAA's investigation stemming from the FBI's probe into corruption in college basketball recruiting.
"We appreciate Sean's commitment to our basketball program and to the university," Arizona athletic director Dave Heeke said in the release announcing what the school called a "departure" by Miller. "After taking the many factors involved into account, we simply believe that we need a fresh start and now is the time. I want to thank Sean, Amy and their sons for their service to the university and wish them the very best in the future."
Miller compiled a 302-109 record in12 seasons with the Wildcats and led the program to three Elite Eight appearances. Previously, he was the coach at Xavier for five seasons. The former Pittsburgh point guard won three Pac-12 Coach of the Year awards during his time at Arizona.
Book Richardson, a former Arizona assistant coach, pled guilty to federal bribery charges in 2019. Arizona finally released its notice of allegations in March, and it included five Level I violations. The charges include an alleged Level I violation against Miller and an overall institutional control charge against the program.
The Wildcats are one of several programs awaiting rulings from the IARP, which is an independent body created in 2019 to adjudicate complicated NCAA infractions cases. The IARP has yet to make a ruling of any sort as it also handles cases involving LSU, Kansas, NC State, Memphis and Louisville, among others.
Arizona self-imposed a postseason ban for the 2020-21 season. The Wildcats last appeared in the NCAA Tournament at the end of the 2017-18 season and lost in the first round. They ended the 2020-21 season with a 17-9 (11-9 Pac-12) record. With a NET ranking of 47, the Wildcats would likely have been on the bubble to make the NCAA Tournament if eligible for the event.