Arizona assistant’s suspension linked to Shareef O’Neal’s transcripts, report says
Mark Phelps is no longer with the Wildcats.
Arizona released a statement Wednesday announcing it has “initiated the process” to terminate the men’s basketball assistant coach after suspending him indefinitely.
“The University of Arizona is committed to the highest standards of integrity and ethical conduct and our commitment to those principles is unwavering,” Arizona athletic director Dave Heeke said in a statement, via ESPN . “The decision to remove Coach Phelps immediately is a direct result of that commitment. We strive to compete within the rules of the NCAA and the Pac-12 Conference, and we will continue to cooperate fully with the NCAA. Coach [Sean] Miller fully supports this decision, which we agree is in the best interests of our men’s basketball program and the University.”
Accoding to ESPN, which cited unidentified sources, the particular violation involved former Arizona recruit Shareef O’Neal’s academic transcripts. Stadium’s Jeff Goodman reports a fraudulent online course was the focus, adding the school is “building its case in potentially make a move with head coach Sean Miller as NCAA begins its investigation.”
O’Neal initially committed to Arizona in 2017, though he later signed with UCLA and sat out this season due to a heart condition.
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Arizona stated that Phelps’ ban is “not related to the federal criminal proceedings in New York or the NCAA’s review of the facts underlying the allegations of unlawful conduct.”
Phelps’ attorney, Donald Maurice Jackson, said his client was suspended because of an alleged NCAA rules violation.
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