Former University of Arizona basketball assistant coach Emanuel Richardson was sentenced to three months in prison on a bribery charge on June 6, 2019. Richardson, who was with the team from 2010-2016, pleaded guilty in January to charges that he accepted $20,000 in bribes to influence certain Arizona players to hire agent Christian Dawkins. Richardson was one of several people caught on wiretaps involving Dawkins.
Richardson’s sentencing came just one day after Tony Bland, a former assistant coach for the University of South Carolina, admitted taking a $4,100 bribe. Bland avoided a prison sentence and walked away from the federal courthouse in Manhattan with two years of probation.
U.S. District Court Judge Edgardo Ramos believed that punishment was necessary in Richardson’s case because he took advantage of young athletes. However, Ramos did show leniency. The charges that Richardson plead guilty to called for 18-24 months in prison, but Judge Ramos cited Richardson’s history of helping players, plus a lack of criminal record, in delivering the lesser sentence.
Richardson, who was represented by Craig Mordock of Mordock Barber LLC, argued for probation. Mordock argued that the same leniency Bland was shown should be given to his client, because each had a similar difficult upbringing. Ultimately, Judge Ramos determined the two situations were different because, unlike Bland, this was not a one-time offense. Richardson accepted the sentence and his surrender date is July 18 ,2019.