‘Aggressively pursuing the facts’: Board of Regents meets to discuss UA basketball program

Ron Shoopman, chairman of the Arizona Board of Regents, said his group is “aggressively pursuing the facts” related to the Arizona basketball program and the recent New York trial of two Adidas officials and a third man found guilty of paying recruits under the table. (Photo by Eric Aldava/Cronkite News)

PHOENIX – Pledging to “aggressively pursue the facts,” the Arizona Board of Regents met Thursday to share information about allegations surrounding the University of Arizona men’s basketball program, its chairman said.

Ron Shoopman spoke after a closed-door meeting on Arizona State’s downtown campus. The Wildcats are among several teams named in an FBI investigation into bribery allegations in college basketball. The meeting came days before Arizona opens the season Wednesday against Houston Baptist.

“People’s careers are at risk here, but the chips will fall where they may and that’s where we default to integrity,” Shoopman said. “And we’re going to do the right thing no matter what that is.”

Operating on facts when there is so much “noise” around Arizona’s program is difficult, Shoopman said, but added the committee members are committed to hearing all relevant information.

He added that the board as well as University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins will not be shy about taking action when presented with pertinent information.

“I know that President Robbins and Athletic Director (Dave) Heeke are aggressively working to ensure that we have athletics at the University of Arizona that are high integrity at every level. Anything less is unacceptable,” he said.

Allegations from testimony include former assistant coach Joe Pasternack offering money to recruit Brian Bowen to play at Arizona. ESPN reported that a plan to pay the family of player Rawle Alkins was part of a discussion with a sports agent.

Coach Sean Miller has called any allegations including his name “false and inflammatory.”

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