The Arizona Wildcats have self-imposed a ban on the 2021 men’s basketball season because of allegations from the NCAA related to the arrest of former assistant coaches Book Richardson and Mark Phelps, as well as a resulting FBI investigation.
“The decision to self-impose a postseason ban was extremely difficult, as we recognize the impact that it has on our current student-athletes,” Arizona AD Dave Heeke said in a statement that was sent only to media and still isn’t on the official team website. “We will continue to cooperate fully with the NCAA enforcement process and continue to support the hard-working young men in our Men’s Basketball program.”
The ban means the Wildcats will be unable to participate in the Pac-12 Tournament and the NCAA tournament, as well as any smaller event like the NIT or CBI. The NCAA tends to look more kindly on self-imposed punishments when adjudication comes at the end of an investigation.
“The decision is an acknowledgement that the NCAA’s investigation revealed that certain lapses in and a departure from the University’s expectation of honest and ethical behavior” the statement said. That tends to happen when the FBI gets involved, especially when there’s tapes.
Arizona is 7-1 this season, including 1-1 in the Pac-12 after a loss to Stanford and a win over Colorado.