The recent sentencing of Emanuel Richardson has shaken the Arizona Wildcats and the whole college basketball community. The basketball coach ended up in prison as a result of a lengthy investigation conducted by the FBI that was targeting corruption. The full consequences of this investigation are not out in the open yet. The University of Arizona is already suffering severe repercussion caused by the arrest. Emanuel Richardson’s activities inflicted severe damage to the reputation of the UA, alongside penalties and sanctions by the NCAA.
Since the scandal has already caused damage to the UA, we need to ask ourselves how much more harm can this institution suffer from this incident. An important thing to point out is that the UA basketball team never had any benefits from illegal activities conducted by Richardson. “Book” Richardson was exposed for taking bribes so that he would help student-athletes make it to the NBA; he never paid these athletes to play for Arizona Wildcats. Arizona’s college basketball team never gained financial or any other benefits from Richard’s activities. However, the U.S., unfortunately, had a chance to watch Richardson’s reputation crumble down.
Even though this scandal has shocked the whole state of Arizona, it shouldn’t influence the future of the UA. Also, another scandal that gravitated towards injuring UA’s reputation showed to be completely ungrounded. Rumors that were following Sean Miller, UA’s coach, said that Miller was giving money to student-athletes. All of these rumors later showed to be without proof, false, and unfounded.
It is natural and entirely expected that UA suffers some penalties by the NCAA. After all, a person employed by the UA was found guilty of illegal activities. However, the question is, for how long and how far will these sanctions go? We all remember that Arizona Wildcats had already suffered a harsh penalty from the NCAA when the team missed the Tournament. We also all know that Arizona Wildcats missed this Tournament because of Richard’s illegal activities and the arrest that followed. When we look at the things from this perspective, we can’t help but think for a moment that UA’s impression of being a victim of Richardson’s actions has some legitimacy, reason, and ground. However, the question of whether the UA was a victim is not as important as the question when will it stop suffering the consequences.