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Deandre Ayton eligible to play for Arizona, family ‘disgusted’ by allegations

Arizona State v Arizona

TUCSON, AZ - DECEMBER 30: Mickey Mitchell #3 of the Arizona State Sun Devils defends Deandre Ayton #13 of the Arizona Wildcats during the first half of the college basketball game at McKale Center on December 30, 2017 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

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Arizona announced on Saturday afternoon that Deandre Ayton will be eligible to play the rest of the season. The Wildcats play at Oregon on Saturday night.

On Friday night, ESPN reported that Sean Miller was caught on a wiretap during the FBI’s investigation into corruption in college basketball discussing a $100,000 payment to secure the services of Ayton.

The conversations that were intercepted were between Miller and Christian Dawkins, a former runner for ex-NBA agent Andy Miller. According to ESPN, when asked by Dawkins if he should work through former Arizona assistant coach Emanuel ‘Book’ Richardson to finalize a deal, “Miller told Dawkins he should deal directly with him when it came to money.”

Miller will not be coaching for Arizona tonight.

A lawyer representing the Ayton family released a statement on their behalf on Saturday night prior to tip-off, saying that they are “outraged and disgusted” by the reports that “falsely implied [Ayton] had any involvement in illegal or prohibited activities.” According to the family, Ayton was interviewed by the FBI “more than six months ago” and told them that he “never discussed or solicited payments” from any schools or shoe companies.