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Ex-Arizona assistant coach reportedly says he paid $40K to change Rawle Alkins’ high school grades

A transcript of a recording related to the college basketball recruiting scandal indicates Arizona assistant coach Emanuel “Book” Richardson claims he paid $40,000 to a high school coach to ensure Wildcats recruit-turned-signee, Rawle Alkins, qualified academically. 

Yahoo Sports reported the findings on Wednesday citing a court record of a transcript that had not been previously reported from a conversation between former agent Christian Dawkins, former Adidas consultant Merl Code and Richardson, who made reference to paying the amount so Alkins could be eligible to play as a freshman for the Wildcats in 2016-17. From the report:

“So, again, is it something different each year?” Richardson said, generally referencing having to financially support recruits’ families. “It is. Like I said, $40,000 to do that was totally extreme. If I had the chance to do it all over again, I would not do it. I’d try to barter something. I’d give blood. I’d give semen, something.”

It’s unclear where the money came from, and who — if anyone — knew of Richardson’s backdoor dealings. However, the $40,000 payment falls in line with other misdeeds he allegedly committed while coaching at Arizona. Federal authorities said he accepted $20,000 in bribes and also payed a recruit to commit to Arizona. He reached a plea deal agreement with prosecutors in January and in June he was sentenced to three months of prison time and two years of supervised release.

While details of the $40,000 payment to satisfy the coach involved in getting Alkins’ academic eligibility squared away were not previously known, Alkins’ name has been brought in to the scandal previously. In FBI recordings played in court earlier this year, a wiretapped phone call between Dawkins and Richardson captured the two discussing alleged payments Arizona coach Sean Miller made to Alkins and DeAndre Ayton, the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Alkins played just two seasons for the Wildcats before leaving for the NBA. He went undrafted in 2018.