Former Arizona assistant coach Book Richardson has filed a plea agreement with federal attorneys in New York over his federal bribery and fraud charges stemming from the college basketball investigation, his attorney said Monday.
Richardson pled guilty to a count of federal funds bribery, after a federal complaint said he took $20,000 from an aspiring sports agent to spend on recruits in exchange for steering Arizona players to him for professional representation.
Richardson could face is between 18-24 months in prison, though a final sentence could be outside of that. Former USC assistant coach Tony Bland also came to a plea agreement last month, though he was found to have taken only $5,000, and thus could receive a lighter penalty.
Richardson could have faced up to three or four years of prison if he went through with his scheduled trial in April and was found guilty.
Mordock said he and Richardson talked about a plea deal since Thanksgiving, and reached one Monday. The first trial into college basketball fraud resulted in convictions, making it more likely other individuals who were charged would settle.
Mordock said Richardson had “benefited the University of Arizona” and positively affected the lives of UA players during his eight-plus years with the program.
Richardson declined to comment.