Christian Dawkins implicates Arizona’s Sean Miller in HBO documentary, but fight remains for real change

UA Coach Sean Miller watches his team against Stanford in a 208 game./Patrick Breen/azsports

By Greg Moore | Arizona Republic 

Don’t watch HBO’s documentary “The Scheme” unless you’re ready to fight.

The two-hour film explores the inner workings of big-time college basketball as told by Christian Dawkins, the young black man at the center of the FBI investigation and federal corruption trial that swept in top NCAA programs like Arizona and LSU.

The case threatened to unravel a multibillion-dollar enterprise, but ultimately produced little more than headlines and hype.

“We admitted from Day 1: We paid the players,” Dawkins said in the documentary. “There’s no point in hiding that. It’s not illegal. There’s no law in the world that says breaking an NCAA rule is a felony. … They twisted the law to make it fit.”

Thanks to Dawkins, we now have some answers to questions left open from the time federal prosecutors announced charges in September 2017.

What happened? How is it a crime? What’s the evidence against coaches like UA’s Sean Miller? Why were a cluster of assistant coaches the highest-profile arrests? What role did race play in all this? And what’s next?


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April 2020