First, the news:
Source: "Zero" sanctions for Sean Miller in forthcoming IARP ruling on Arizona. Decision should be publicly released in 30 minutes.— Pat Forde (@ByPatForde) December 14, 2022
The NCAA has finally finished its investigation of Arizona’s program under Sean Miller, and the news couldn’t be better for Xavier. The investigation found that, in his time as head coach of the Wildcats, Miller “promoted an atmosphere of compliance” and thus should be due no punishment for the fact that Book Richardson was breaking a ton of rules.
Richardson himself was not so lucky, receiving a ten-year show cause (in addition to a prison sentence, though that was not handed down by the NCAA). Former Arizona assistant Mark Phelps received a two-year show cause for his role in the whole exercise, though I’d be hard pressed to tell you exactly what that was or even who he is.
For Xavier, this closes a chapter of the program’s history that they really didn’t have a whole lot to do with in the first place. Considering how well the school and the program do their due diligence, I would be surprised if they didn’t already have an idea that Miller would receive little to no punishment before they reached out to hire him.
Ten months ago, when everybody and his mom was blowing up our Twitter about firing Travis Steele, my consistent question was who X would get to replace him that would be a clear upgrade. Sean Miller - who has a strong case for being the best coach in the program’s history - obviously fits the bill there, but I thought that the looming investigation would rule him out almost categorically.
Now it’s almost Christmas and Santa has brought me not only Miller once again on the Xavier sideline but closure in the investigation with no punishment coming his way. I would have been happy to be the first to admit that I was wrong, but many, many of you beat me to the punch in pointing that out. Now the story is well and truly written and Miller is free and clear to continue putting Xavier back on the tracks. Feel free to remind me in the comments or the Twitter replies or both what geniuses you all are and what a silly goose I am. In light of the giant W the program just collected, I’ll be happy to take the L on that one.