University of Arizona Wants to Ax UA Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach

Thursday, February 7, 2019

University of Arizona Wants to Ax UA Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach

Posted By on Thu, Feb 7, 2019 at 10:17 AM

Fourth-year Arizona assistant basketball coach Mark Phelps has been suspended by the University, which has "initiated the process to terminate" him. - ARIZONA ATHLETICS

  • Arizona Athletics
  • Fourth-year Arizona assistant basketball coach Mark Phelps has been suspended by the University, which has “initiated the process to terminate” him.

University of Arizona assistant men’s basketball coach Mark Phelps has been suspended by the school, with the intent of firing him, according to a statement released on Wednesday night.

The University’s statement read in part:

The University of Arizona has initiated the process to terminate Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach Mark Phelps’ employment with the University. During this process, Phelps has been placed on suspension with pay in accordance with University policy. This personnel action is not related to the federal criminal proceedings in New York or the NCAA’s review of the facts underlying the allegations of unlawful conduct.

Phelp’s suspension comes days after ESPN reporter Mark Schlabach reported that Phelps is accused of altering former commit and current UCLA player Shareef O’Neal’s academic transcript. Arizona Director of Athletics Dave Heeke released a statement on Wednesday, calling Phelps’ conduct unfit for his position within the program.

“The University of Arizona is committed to the highest standards of integrity and ethical conduct and our commitment to those principles is unwavering,” Heeke said. “The decision to remove Coach Phelps immediately is a direct result of that commitment. We strive to compete within the rules of the NCAA and the PAC-12 Conference, and we will continue to cooperate fully with the NCAA. Coach Miller fully supports this decision, which we agree is in the best interests of our men’s basketball program and the University.”

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