2017 Pac-12 Men's Basketball Media Day: Arizona's Sean Miller warns against judging grassroots basketball by FBI investigation
SAN FRANCISCO -- Arizona coach Sean Miller stood up for grassroots basketball at Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Media Day on Thursday, telling reporters to be wary of lumping all people involved with those who are a part of the FBI investigation into corruption.
“I think it’s important that you don’t judge or stereotype people. Some of the greatest people in our game are grassroots coaches,” said Miller, whose former assistant coach Emanuel Richardson was arrested in connection with the FBI investigation. “They’ve done more for kids who’ve had nothing than anyone in their community could have ever imagined. In some cases, they’ve helped hundreds of kids.”
Many have criticized grassroots basketball organizations like the AAU for either corruption or “ruining the game”, believing that high school basketball is a purer form of the sport. Miller, however, was quick to point out that a person’s integrity can’t be defined just by what level of basketball he or she coaches.
“There are certainly great high school coaches as well… But in both cases, there are some coaches who are better than others,” Miller said. “Whether you’re a travel team coach or a high school coach, people are people.
"You just can’t cast the net that wide and just say everybody who coaches outside of high school isn’t a good coach or person. It’s the furthest thing from the truth.”
Miller declined to comment further on the FBI investigation involving Richardson, saying he is standing by a statement he made Oct. 3. “As the head basketball coach at the University of Arizona, I recognize my responsibility is not only to establish a culture of success on the basketball court and in the classroom, but as important, to promote and reinforce a culture of compliance. To the best of my ability, I have worked to demonstrate this over the past eight years and will continue do so as we move forward,” that statement said in part.