Emanuel Richardson, a former Arizona assistant men’s basketball coach, will go down in history as the first ever college basketball coach to be handed a custodial sentence for violating NCAA regulations.
He was sentenced to three months in prison and made subject to two years supervisory release this week after pleading guilty before District Judge Edgardo Ramos in the Thurgood Marshall Courthouse to a federal bribery charge.
Richardson was filmed by FBI surveillance when he took payments totalling $20,000 during two meetings in 2017.
Judge Ramos was, however, prepared to adopt a more lenient approach than had been suggested by the government which sought a prison sentence of between 18 and 24 months. He took into account Richardson’s previous clean record and a number of testimonials submitted on his behalf.
Speaking to CBS Sports after the sentencing, Richardson thanked the University of Arizona and its President Robert Robins, while apologizing to them for what he had done. “Again, any student-athlete I hurt, any student-athlete I put in a bad way, I apologize sincerely,” he said. “I’m always going to be their coach, I’m always going to be their uncle. To some, I’ll be their dad.”