Shareef O’Neal, the son of Shaquille O’Neal and a top-30 prospect in the 2018 class, announced he is decommitting from Arizona.
O’Neal originally committed to the Wildcats last April.
At this time I’m am opening up my recruitment due to the current events with the UofA Bball team.I would like to thank all the coaches for recruiting me. At the time my family and I think it’s in my best interest to look at other options to assure my play in the NCAA next year.
— Shareef O’Neal (@SSJreef) February 24, 2018
ESPN reported Friday night that FBI wiretaps intercepted phone conversations between Arizona head coach Sean Miller and Christian Dawkins, a runner for agent Andy Miller, wherein the two discuss paying $100,000 to ensure potential No. 1 draft pick Deandre Ayton signs with the Wildcats.
Sources say that Sean Miller will not coach Arizona’s game Saturday against Oregon after ESPN reported his involvement in a discussion to pay a potential recruit. The school has not made an official announcement on Miller’s status.
FBI wiretaps intercepted multiple conversations between Arizona basketball coach Sean Miller and sports agent Christian Dawkins in which Miller discussed a $100,000 payment to ensure star freshman Deandre Ayton signed with the Wildcats, sources told ESPN.
Players at basketball powers such as Duke, UNC, Kentucky, Michigan State and Kansas may have committed NCAA violations that were uncovered by an FBI investigation, according to Yahoo! Sports.
ESPN then reported that Miller will not coach Arizona’s game against Oregon on Saturday.
Ranked No. 29 in the 2018 class, O’Neal is a 6-foot-9 power forward from the Crossroads School (California). He averaged 13.9 points and 6.5 rebounds on the Nike EYBL circuit with the California Supreme AAU program last spring and summer.
O’Neal didn’t sign a letter of intent during the early signing period, instead choosing to sign nonbinding financial aid papers with Arizona. As a result, O’Neal won’t need Arizona to release him in order to go elsewhere.
Prior to his commitment, Kentucky and LSU, his father’s alma mater, were thought to be among the schools involved.
Without O’Neal, Arizona’s 2018 class consists of ESPN 100 point guard Brandon Williams, who also decided against signing a binding letter of intent in November.