SAN FRANCISCO -- During Pac-12 media day Thursday, Arizona's Sean Miller had no interest in discussing his school's mentions in the FBI bribery trial unfolding in New York.
Instead, he referred five times to the statement he made in March, in response to ESPN's report that tied former All-American DeAndre Ayton to an alleged pay-for-play scheme, when he was asked about the testimonies by former Adidas executive T.J. Gassanola and Brian Bowen Sr., the father of former five-star recruit Brian Bowen Jr., both of whom discussed payments they alleged were made or promised to Arizona recruits in recent years.
Former Arizona assistant Book Richardson was one of four Division I assistant coaches arrested in the FBI's investigation.
"I have never knowingly violated NCAA rules while serving as head coach of this great program," Miller said in March. "I have never paid a recruit or prospect or their family or representative to come to Arizona. I never have and I never will. I have never arranged or directed payment or improper benefits to a recruit or prospect or family or representative and I never will."
On Thursday, Miller repeatedly mentioned that statement in his responses to a flurry of questions about the bribery investigation and ensuring trial.
In federal court this week, Gassanola said he made a $15,000 payment to one of Ayton's family friends to start a relationship between the No. 1 NBA draft pick and Adidas. Jurors also heard a wiretapped conversation between Merl Code and James Gatto, two individuals at the center of the government's investigation, in which the two discussed an alleged six-figure negotiation for Nassir Little -- a former Wildcats recruit who decommitted before signing with North Carolina -- to attend Arizona or Miami.
"Again, I'm aware that a trial is going on, but if you'd like to ask me about our team this year, our program, on the court, I'd be more than happy to answer those questions," Miller told reporters after facing multiple questions about the trial. "Any of those types of questions, I would ask you to go to the statement I made in March."
Miller was also asked if the reports about Ayton could lead to future sanctions against the program.
After praising the NBA rookie, he had a predictable response.
"DeAndre is one of the great kids that I've ever been around, obviously," he said. "We're all very proud of him, of what he's doing right now, fact that he's the No. 1 pick. Again, I would ask you to go back to the statement that I made in March."