Arizona Athletics

Assistant coach Phelps and UA’s Pinder out for undisclosed violations

And, information starts to trickle out from the Arizona men’s basketball program just hours before the regular season begins against Northern Arizona.

In a two-paragraph email, Arizona officials announced UA assistant men’s basketball coach Mark Phelps has been suspended without pay for five days, including games against NAU and UMBC, for a violation of NCAA rules. The violation is unrelated to the ongoing federal investigation.

It’s unclear what he did to get the penalty.

Phelps will return to his coaching duties on Wednesday, Nov. 15.

Mark Phelps (middle holding cell phone) watches the Compton Magic game Wednesday night featuring point guard Jaylen Hands (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Additionally, senior Keanu Pinder is being withheld from tonight’s game against NAU for a violation of NCAA rules. Pinder will be available for Sunday’s game versus UMBC.

In the statement, it didn’t state if it was involved with the current FBI investigation.

But it’s clear Arizona has done some of its due diligence – whether it’s been halted or not is unclear – in attempting to find out what occurred over the last couple of years as it pertains to the UA basketball program.

Arizona is under investigation after a near three year investigation by the FBI in the corruption of college basketball. Arizona assistant Book Richardson has been indicted for his part in alleged bribes regarding recruits. He is no longer on the coaching staff and UA has proceeded with his termination.

Already, Dylan Smith is out because of a team violation. And sophomore Rawle Alkins is out with a foot injury until late December.

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