Arizona initiates process to fire assistant basketball coach

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona has initiated the process to fire assistant coach Mark Phelps and suspended him indefinitely without pay due an NCAA rules issue.

The school said in a statement Wednesday the move was not related to a federal probe into basketball recruiting.

Don Jackson, Phelps’ Atlanta-based attorney, said in a statement Phelps will continue to cooperate with university investigators and NCAA staff, adding he’s confident of being fully exonerated.

Phelps was suspended for two games at the start of the 2017-18 season for an unspecified NCAA violation. Phelps, the former head coach at Drake, has been an assistant under coach Sean Miller since 2015.

Another of Miller’s former assistants, Book Richardson, recently pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery for accepting money to steer Arizona players to particular agents and financial advisors.