Jurors in a federal criminal trial involving college basketball corruption on Monday heard a wiretap recording of a telephone call between defendant Christian Dawkins and business partner Munish Sood, in which Dawkins alleged that Arizona basketball coach Sean Miller "fronted" a deal to ensure the Wildcats signed former star center Deandre Ayton.
During the telephone call, which FBI wiretaps intercepted on June 2, 2017, Dawkins and Sood discussed how much it was going to cost for them to sign Ayton as a client in their new sports management company once he turned pro.
Sood testified on Monday that he and Dawkins were already paying then-Arizona associate head coach Emanuel "Book" Richardson to recruit to influence Wildcats players and recruits to sign with their firm.
"[Richardson] already made it clear you're gonna get, or we're gonna get, the No. 1 pick next year, assuming he's No. 1," Sood said during the call.
"It's going to be more money than what they, what Book said, I mean because I talked to Sean," Dawkins told Sood. "Sean's the one that fronted that deal. So it's going to be some money, but I mean we'll figure that out."
ESPN reported in February 2018 that FBI wiretaps intercepted a call between Dawkins and Miller, in which the Arizona coach discussed a $100,000 payment that secured Ayton's commitment to the Wildcats. At the time, Miller disputed the report and denied ever paying a recruit to sign with Arizona.