"I Know the Game Like I'm Reffing It"

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Emanuel “Book” Richardson Opens Up About Last Year’s FBI/College Basketball Recruiting Scandal, Says He’s “Contemplated Suicide on Many Occasions.”

In a recent interview on Jamal Murphy and Khalid Green’s Up Next podcast, former Arizona and Xavier assistant basketball coach, Emanuel “Book” Richardson speaks candidly on his role in the FBI/college basketball recruiting scandal that took down four assistant coaches, while letting the head coaches at those universities off the hook, criminally.

In an article last year for The Undefeated, Murphy described how the entire investigation effectively scapegoated Black assistant coaches and low level sneaker company employees.


During the Up Next podcast, Richardson rehashes the trauma he endured during and after his arrest by the FBI. They burst into his house at “6AM with battering rams,” and Richardson “was a mess, I was in tears, I was hurt, I was crying. I don’t wake up past 6AM ever in fear that at least I’ll be ready if they come this time.”


Richardson stated “in a 36-month span you lose everything, you lose your family, you lose your wife, you lose your career.”


As far as the crime that he pleaded guilty to, Richardson still doesn’t know what he did wrong. “Let me know what I did,” he said, “I didn’t see who I bribed, I also didn’t see who I harmed.”


“No kid was ever hurt,” Richardson continued, “when you say who was hurt, the Black assistant coaches were hurt.”


Finally, Richardson talks about his battles with depression, including thoughts of suicide, since the recruiting scandal. “Am I just perishable? Am I the dude that you just throw away? [The NCAA] want me to go away, they want me to wither, they want me to die. And I’m telling you, I’ve felt like that at times. Why don’t I just die, just put a gun in [my] mouth and pull the trigger.”


The Up Next podcast focuses on youth sports and all of its dimensions, as Murphy and Green talk to the industry’s greatest players, both on and off of the court