Former Arizona assistant Emanuel 'Book' Richardson agrees to plea deal in college basketball fraud case
Richardson pleaded guilty to one count of federal funds bribery, and could face 18-24 months at sentencing
Former Arizona basketball assistant coach Emanuel "Book" Richardson has agreed to a plea deal with federal prosecutors in the college basketball fraud case, according to multiple media reports.
Richardson becomes the second indicted assistant stemming from the high-profile case to agree to a deal with authorities this month. Former USC assistant with the feds last week.
Richardson initially pleaded not guilty in the case and intended to fight the charges, consisting of bribery and soliciting bribes. But after a late-October ruling from a jury in the case deemed Adidas employee James Gatto, former Adidas consultant Merl Code, and former runner, Christian Dawkins, guilty on felony charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, it seems he may have saw the writing on the wall for how his trial may play out.
Richardson was accused of taking around $20,000 in bribes and also paying a recruit to commit to Arizona. Before the FBI made arrests in the case, and Richardson was subsequently fired, he was Arizona coach Sean Miller's longest-tenured assistant coach. Because of his plea deal and the scope of the charges in the case, Richardson's sentencing range calls for a range somewhere between 18-24 months.
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