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As was reported earlier, the NCAA has officially announced former Tennessee Volunteers basketball coach Bruce Pearl will face a three-year show-cause penalty for recruiting violations and for providing "misleading" information, while his former assistants will each face a one-year penalty of the same kind.
The Vols themselves will deal with their various self-imposed penalties, including a two-year probation beginning Tuesday. The NCAA's report lists the probation as being a new punishment, but it isn't.
The only additional measure that affects the school itself is a public reprimand, which ... I think they get the point, you guys. Hasn't UT been through enough this week without a reprimand?
Laughing with his back turned to the crater is former Vols football coach Lane Kiffin, whose staff "committed 12 secondary violations over 10 months" but left no evidence worthy of a major violation ruling. With the news that Janzen Jackson is leaving the Knoxville program, that means half of that class Kiffin committed all those violations for is now gone.
Bruce Pearl will reportedly be hit with a three-year show-cause penalty sometime on Wednesday, when the NCAA is expected to announce its findings after a lengthy investigation into allegations levied against the Tennessee football and basketball program. Pearl and his coaching staff were
A show-cause penalty is a nice way of saying a coach is banned from the collegiate ranks for the duration of the period. If a school wants to hire the head coach in question, it must stand before the NCAA Committee on Infractions -- the same committee that hands down the punishments -- and explain why it's a good idea for the coach to return to collegiate ranks. It just doesn't happen. Nobody asks the COI for permission to hire a coach who's been hit with allegations severe enough to warrant a show-cause penalty.
For Pearl, like any other head coach who receives the dreaded show-cause label, the penalty also effectively ends his collegiate coaching career. Once the NCAA deems a coach worthy of its highest individual punishment, no matter the duration the show-cause is in affect, the black mark doesn't go away.
In fact, of all the NCAA men's basketball coaches to be given a show-cause penalty, only one has returned to the college coaching ranks. Todd Bozeman doled out improper benefits to a player's parent, then lied to the NCAA about it while at Cal. After spending 10 years in the NBA following the scandal at Cal -- eight of which were show-cause years -- Bozeman returned to the collegiate ranks to coach Morgan State.
Pearl's three-year penalty isn't nearly as long as Bozeman's, nor will it prevent him for theoretically returning to an NCAA institution to coach in the future. But the stigma that comes along with the show-cause is just as damning for Pearl, if not moreso.
Despite Pearl's ability to assemble a championship caliber team and create a powerhouse, it's more than likely schools will be weary about hiring him, even after his three-year period in college purgatory ends.
The University of Tennessee escaped further sanctions beyond what they've already self-imposed on Tuesday when the NCAA reportedly decided, according to a source.
The NCAA will announce its official findings from June's Committee on Infractions hearing Wednesday.
Tennessee self-imposed two years of probation for the athletic department, along with various self-imposed penalties to the men's basketball and football programs.
Bruce Pearl, however, is looking at harsher penalties for his infractions.
Former men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl will receive a three-year show cause penalty while his three former assistants - Tony Jones, Jason Shay and Steve Forbes - all will receive a one-year show cause penalty.
Pearl said Tuesday that he has not been told the length of his penalty, though it is believed to be for three-years.
Pearl is still mulling over a decision to coach the NBA D-League's Texas Legends, which would reportedly pay $500,000 a year.
For more on Vols hoops, visit Rocky Top Talk.
Former Tennessee Volunteers men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl will be hit with just about the strongest tool in the NCAA's arsenal, according to Andy Katz. Pearl's multiple-year show-cause penalty will be announced Wednesday, Katz says.
Pearl assistants Tony Jones, Steve Forbes and Jason Shay will also reportedly have to contend with one-year show-cause marks.
The one-time Vols coach stood before the NCAA Committee on Infractions June 11 due to recruiting violations that at one point included an attempted cover-up. He said at the time he expected the news of his punishment to come out mid-August. And here we are.
That show-cause penalty Pearl is supposed to incur means that if any school wants to hire him as a coach, they'll have to get special clearance from that same committee. Basically, this means Pearl is out of college basketball for the next several years -- he appears to have known this was coming, based on his reported interest in taking a NBA D-League job.
For more on Vols hoops, visit Rocky Top Talk.
The Texas Legends, the D-League affiliate of the Dallas Mavericks, have reportedly hired Bruce Pearl as head coach.
Transcripts from Bruce Pearl's initial interview with NCAA investigators were released on Saturday and they paint a picture depicting how the Tennessee head coach's tenure as head basketball coach eventually came to an end. After a picture of Pearl and Tennessee recruit Aaron Craft was mailed to the NCAA, investigators came calling about where the picture was taken. It was later discovered Pearl lied about the picture, covering up a violation and making the situation worse in the process.
The problem, as many immediately noted, came when Tennessee's own lead attorney, Mike Glazier, put Pearl on the spot in the initial interview. It was two simple questions about where a picture showing Pearl and Craft was taken that led to a series of lies.
"Do you recognize the woman that's in the picture?" he asked, referring to a shot of Jana Shay, the wife of Pearl's assistant coach Jason Shay, positioned with her head down in the background.
"No," Pearl said. "I really don't."
"Coach," Glazier said, "is that in your home any place?"
"No," Pearl said.
The picture showed an NCAA violation: Craft was at Pearl's home while on an unofficial visit, breaking a recruiting rule. In fact, as the story notes, there were multiple violations in play -- two of the recruits received transportation to Pearl's home from a current Tennessee player and free food and drink were given to the players and families while at Pearl's residence. But the entire situation was made worse by Pearl's initial denials.
Tennessee placed itself on two years probation as a result of violations uncovered in the subsequent investigation that spanned both the football and basketball programs. Pearl was fired, athletic director Mike Hamilton resigned and football coach Lane Kiffin, who was also involved in the investigation, moved on to USC before the fire heated up.
After responding to a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA in May, Tennessee has self-imposed a two-year probation period for violations committed by the football and basketball teams, reports the Knoxville News Sentinel. The school had already imposed earlier penalties, but it added several others with the probationary period. However, the NCAA can still impose further penalties should it deem the self-imposed punishment too little.
Football coach Derek Dooley will have just five coaches who can make phone calls to prospective student-athletes when contact is allowed on Nov. 1. New basketball head coach Cuonzo Martin and his assistants cannot take student-athletes off campus for meals.
Both Dooley and Martin will deal with these penalties that their predecessors, Lane Kiffin and Bruce Pearl, respectively, provoked. At this time, the university has not issued any further statements on the violations or the NCAA's investigation. It continues to stand by its response to the Notice as its answer on the matter.
After being fired from his position as the University of Tennessee's men's basketball coach, Bruce Pearl thought the worst was over. Caught lying to NCAA investigators about specific recruiting violations, the 51-year old had fallen down the same tragic path of so many others before him.
"Do you want me to write the book about how do you lose $10 million jobs? I can write the book," Pearl emotionally explained to Atlanta sports talk radio station 790 ‘The Zone'. "How can you be so dumb and so careless?"
Yet, Pearl's problems may only be starting. The former coach currently sits awaiting further judgment, and possibly punishment, from the NCAA for the infractions he incurred at Tennessee. Should the NCAA come down on him, it would be unlikely that another university would take on a flyer such damaged goods.
Nevertheless, Pearl remains optimistic that he will receive his second chance.
I do think that I'm going to have the opportunity to coach again. I've got to wait and see what the Committee on Infractions, what they say, probably coming up sometime in the middle of August and how quickly will they allow me to come back into coaching.
Times as they are right now, we all kind of get lumped into one, big 'These are the guys that violate the rules. These are the cheaters'.
Pearl's case is one that is becoming common-place within the broken realm of college athletics. As the system continues to be rigged to support the strong at the expense of the weak, and is policed by loose code of honor that is rarely followed, it can be guaranteed that his won't be the last story we hear of this nature.
The end of the investigation into NCAA violations at Tennessee is almost wrapped up after the infractions committee met Bruce Pearl and Lane Kiffin on Saturday. The two spent a combined nine hours in front of the committee during a closed-door meeting that's one of the last stages of an investigation into numerous major violations.
Kiffin spent four hours in front of the board, and was glad the hearing was over as he recalled the three-day hearing during the USC investigation.
"It's a very thorough process and I'm glad it's over," Kiffin said before leaving the downtown Indianapolis hotel for a football camp at Southern Cal. "It was a lot shorter than the last one I sat through, three days of USC's, and I'm happy it's over."
Kiffin and Pearl are each facing charges stemming from impermissible phone calls to recruits. Kiffin, now at USC, is also facing a failure to monitor charge on top of the recruiting violations. The Volunteers have also been charged with a failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance, a blanket charge resulting from the numerous violations allegedly committed at Tennessee.
A ruling on the charges is expected within eight to 12 weeks.
Mike Hamilton, University of Tennessee's men's athletics director of eight years, will resign today, per a UT source speaking to SB Nation's Rocky Top Talk and confirmed by every other Knoxville media outlet. The school has announced a press conference at 11 a.m. EDT.
Why Hamilton's relatively short reign at the top of Volunteer athletics might not be entirely surprising: You might remember Hamilton as the guy who hired Bruce Pearl, fired Phil Fulmer, replaced him with Lane Kiffin, watched Kiffin toddle westward after a single season, replaced him with Derek Dooley, fired Bruce Pearl, hired Cuonzo Martin, and just for funsies, also cut loose Tennessee's baseball coach. Guy has to be exhausted.
Why this news is at the same time surprising and discomfiting: Tennessee's meeting with the NCAA Committee on Infractions to address charges against the football and basketball programs under Kiffin and Pearl is scheduled for Saturday in Indianapolis. As in, this Saturday. (And they still don't have a baseball coach.)
For perhaps the only calm and rational discourse you'll see on this development, visit Rocky Top Talk.
Cuonzo Martin has been hired as Tennessee Volunteers men’s basketball coach, the school announced Sunday, concluding what had been a relatively quiet coaching search. Martin was previously employed as Missouri State basketball coach, and will be introduced in a 2:30 pm ET Monday press conference.
Martin led Missouri State to a CBI title, a NIT second-round appearance, and a Missouri Valley Conference regular season championship. In previous stops, he played his college ball at Purdue, was an Atlanta Hawks draft pick, and was an assistant coach at Purdue. He’s moving very quickly through the coaching ranks, having only three years of head experience.
This (hopefully) concludes a difficult time for Vols fans, who had to watch a coach they largely beloved fired. While there will still be plenty of Tennessee fans with questions about an unproven new head coach, at least they’re new questions, right?
For more on Vols hoops, visit Rocky Top Talk.
Among the names flying around regarding Tennessee basketball’s search for Bruce Pearl’s replacement, one has emerged as the front-runner, according to a report at least. Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld.com and ESPN 1040 says Lawrence Frank, Boston Celtics assistant, is the No. 1 candidate to take over for interim coach Houston Fancher.
Frank is also thought to be the most likely successor should Doc Rivers decide to take some time off from NBA coaching, meaning he’d have his choice between pro basketball’s premier franchise and a decimated program at a women’s hoops school if all reports are accurate.
Frank was an assistant Vols coach for three seasons after serving as manager for Bob Knight at Indiana in the ‘90s. He’s also coached at Marquette and for the Grizzlies and Nets, where he started one season 13-0 and another 0-16, before coming aboard in Boston.
For more on Vols sports, visit Rocky Top Talk.
We know Tennessee Volunteers basketball's search for a new head coach began almost immediately after Bruce Pearl was fired, if not sooner. We also know Houston Fancher has been named the interim head coach until a new full-timer can be named. But which coaches are Vols media and fan sites listing as potential replacements?
InsideTennessee.com lists bios on pretty much everybody, from Sweet 16 hot shots like Butler coach Brad Stevens and VCU coach Shaka Smart to Vols alum Rick Byrd, currently the coach of Atlantic Sun tyrant Belmont. Former Kentucky and Georgia coach Tubby Smith and Alabama coach Anthony Grant are two other coaches listed there who have extensive SEC experience, which could be a positive factor.
Rocky Top Talk adds several names to the Bruce Pearl replacement discussion, including Boston Celtics assistant Lawrence Frank. The web's best Tennessee fan community also considers the obligatory Larry Brown rumor, dismissing the longtime NBA coach's interest at returning to coach college hoops.
The Sporting News' Mike DeCourcy also recommends Byrd, along with providing a list of all coaches who've become newly available so far this season. What kind of contract could Mike Hamilton come up with for Paul Hewitt? The mind gasps and shudders.
Houston Fancher, a member of Bruce Pearl’s Tennessee Volunteers coaching staff, has taken over for Pearl as interim head coach. The former longtime Appalachian State head coach had been working as Pearl’s coordinator of video scouting.
Speaking to the Knoxville News Sentinel, Fancher commented on his new role, saying he received Pearl’s blessing to take over the team for the time being:
If there’s anything I want to get across, it’s not about me accepting a position, it’s about me being here during the transition for the players.
Since Tennessee doesn’t have any games left to play this season, Fancher’s job will be to hold the team together as best he can, which could include trying to hang on to recruit Kevin Ware. Tennessee has already begun looking for a replacement head coach, so Fancher’s time on the job could be very brief, but it’s still a critical role and could help retain him a spot on the next coach’s staff, as Pearl’s assistants were also fired Monday.
For more on the Vols, visit Rocky Top Talk.
With Bruce Pearl fired and the University of Tennessee looking for a new basketball coach, you might think folks in Knoxville want to forget their Pearl relationship ever happened. But Vols fans aren't ready to forget why they loved him in the first place.
Among other things, Bruce Pearl was the best men's basketball coach the school's ever had, he brought big time talent to a school without much of a recruiting base, and in Knoxville, he made men's basketball mean something.
Over at SB Nation's excellent Tennessee blog, Rocky Top Talk, they've already forgiven Pearl, as Joel Hollingsworth writes, "Folks without orange corneas may have trouble understanding the outpouring of support for a coach who, by his own account, brought this tragedy on himself, but that's just because they didn't experience the past six years with us." And he continues:
Pearl walked into Knoxville in 2005 as death rattles of the program were echoing off the walls of a cavernous arena. To make matters worse, the football program that had begun the season ranked in the top 5 had just capped off an absolutely horrid season with a loss to Vanderbilt. Into this atmosphere, a completely unknown Jewish yankee came to the South and almost immediately and entirely stole our hearts by standing on tables in the cafeteria promising that we'd be proud of his teams and their effort, working the concourse after games, and asking his guys to do the same. Yes, he won, too, but really it was much, much more than that.
It says a lot about Pearl's talents as a coach that he could forge a relationship with fans strong enough to withstand this latest controversy. It wasn't enough to save his job, but if the fans in Knoxville are any indication, it's more than enough to justify another program taking a chance on him soon. If you're still convinced, check out a collection of Pearl's Greatest Hits over at Rocky Top Talk.
The University of Tennessee has officially announced what everyone has already know today, head basketball coach Bruce Pearl has been fired.
Both Chancellor Jimmy Cheek and Director of Athletics Mike Hamilton made statements on Monday. It was Hamilton’s statement that was most interesting as it makes mention of previously-unheard-of violations that occurred as recently as this month.
Upon receipt of our NCAA Letter of Inquiry in September, we made the difficult decision to forego common national opinion and forge ahead with Bruce and his staff pending any further major infractions or issues that would preclude our basketball program from representing the University of Tennessee in the right manner.
The months that followed have been difficult on everyone our staff, our coaches, our administration, our fans and, certainly, our young men. During this time, the dynamics of our case with the NCAA have evolved further, including additional violations committed on September 14 and in March 2011. The cumulative effect of the evolution of the investigation combined with a number of more recent non-NCAA-related incidents have led to a belief that this staff cannot be viable at Tennessee in the future. Therefore, it is in the best interests of our institution to move in a different direction.
An additional violation in March would have come after the Letter of Allegations was received and fuels speculation that something changed in the last few weeks in the Pearl situation.
Head on over to Rocky Top Talk to discuss the end of the Bruce Pearl Era with UT fans.
Kevin Ware, the No. 56 recruit in the country according to Rivals and the No. 2 player in Tennessee’s 2011 class, has requested to be released from his letter of intent. He also has said Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton told him on March 6 that Pearl would remain the Vols coach “for sure.”
Obvously the matter of that bump violation changed things for Hamilton, but the possibility of losing Ware is going to be another mark in a long column titled The Tennessee Basketball Fan’s Reasons To Insult Mike Hamilton Via Campus Landmark.
Tennessee can opt not to release Ware from his letter of intent, which would be really terrific PR, so don’t put it past them. At stake for Ward is being able to play the 2011-12 season for a Division I school. While it’s not clear how much of an impact Hamilton’s broken promise had on Ware’s decision to try and leave, it certainly couldn’t have helped.
For more on the Vols, visit Rocky Top Talk.
Bruce Pearl has been fired, according to reports, and Tennessee Volunteers athletic director Mike Hamilton might want to make a Lane Kiffin exit out of Knoxville right quick. Men’s basketball fans are mostly somewhere between disappointed and furious, judging by the reactions at Rocky Top Talk:
Tennessee Basketball will go on, but will do so without the coach who stands on tables in the university center and paints his chest for the Lady Vols. Someone else may win here – though it would be an absolute miracle if the next guy pulls off what Pearl did in his first five years – but they will be a different person.
One bright side for Tennessee hoops fans: the Lady Vols are still set to warpath through the Women’s Tournament, and now have one of their biggest fans to avenge. That, and Derek Dooley said a bunch of funny things today at spring practice.
For more on Vols sports, visit Rocky Top Talk.
Bruce Pearl has been fired as head coach of Tennessee Volunteers men’s basketball, according to a Monday afternoon report by WNML-FM’s Jimmy Hyams, which was shortly afterward confirmed by CBS’ Gary Parrish and Fox Sports’ Jeff Goodman. Pearl was expected to meet with athletic director Mike Hamilton earlier in the day, at which point his future with the program would be settled upon.
According to Goodman, Pearl “received compensation as a part of the buyout agreement.” How could a coach with no contract receive a buyout, you ask? One popular theory, which surfaced on VolQuest.com, purported that Pearl would receive $2 million in exchange for accepting the NCAA’s charges against him.
Such an arrangement would allow the NCAA to deliver a speedy decision on any possible sanctions, permit the program to move on and hire a new coach with full awareness of the program’s standing, and put some nice paper in Pearl’s pocket in exchange for taking full responsibility.
More to come on Pearl’s reported firing as more makes its way public.
For now (and for always!), visit Rocky Top Talk for the latest on Vols sports.
A so-termed bump rule violation committed by Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl — which the school found out about from the NCAA itself, not Pearl, and which was committed just four days after Pearl apologized publicly for other violations — has encouraged athletic director Mike Hamilton to change his standing on the matter of his hoops coach.
Before Hamilton had said that even a suspended Pearl could remain at Tennessee, but said to Jimmy Hyams of WNML-AM Knoxville on Wednesday that Pearl’s contract will be evaluated after the postseason. For the Vols that could be any day now, with Duke looming if they’re able to get past Michigan.
A bump violation occurs when a coach comes into accidental, unpermitted contact with a recruit. Pearl’s happened on Sept. 14 at Virginia’s Oak Hill Academy. That he did it wasn’t a big deal. The problem was that he didn’t alert the relevant authority.
Pearl has been coaching with an on-hold contract this season. Hamilton declined to say whether his contract situation would be resolved by the June NCAA hearing, but that the hearing could play a role in the decision.
For more on Pearl and the Vols, visit Rocky Top Talk.
Almost as interesting as what we do know about the NCAA investigation of Tennessee men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl is what we don’t know. Because we know that Pearl was charged with impressible contact with a recruit, but there are some puzzling redactions from the report. There are highlights at Rocky Top Talk, including such hits as the NCAA’s request for:
A statement identifying all [two lines redacted]. Please indicate whether the [line and a half redacted].
This could, obviously, be just about anything. “A statement identifying all al-Qaeda training camps set up in Knoxville or the surrounding areas using NCAA funds”? It’s possible. In any case, the totality of the blacked-out sections are leaving some Tennessee fans understandably concerned.
Perhaps there’s a perfectly appropriate explanation for this other than what I fear. Perhaps it’s just sloppy and inconsistent redaction. I hope that’s all it is. But Mike Hamilton also said in the statement he released with all of the other documents this morning that “most items noted in this document have already been reported broadly.”
Most? Which ones haven’t?
The answer could decide the future of Pearl and the Tennessee men’s basketball team.
Keep up with Rocky Top Talk for more on the NCAA investigation.
Bruce Pearl found himself charged with impermissible contact with recruits in an NCAA letter of allegations published Wednesday by the University of Tennessee. There’s nothing particularly new in the findings, as the SEC has already punished him for all of it.
But the NCAA is likely to exact an additional round of punishments, possibly up to branding Pearl as guilty of unethical conduct. After receiving the letter, which also alleges fault with Lane Kiffin’s time as Tennessee football coach, Pearl commented:
The receipt of today’s notice brings us one step closer to a final resolution in this matter. Throughout this process, we have recognized that we made significant mistakes, and we look forward to concluding this matter with the NCAA.
The penalties imposed on our program to date have been severe, but I want to commend our student-athletes and staff for staying focused and working through these potential distractions. The support of our fans and administration has been amazing and appreciated by me and my entire family, and reminds me every day why I have the best job in the nation. I appreciate the opportunity to serve the University of Tennessee, and everyone in our basketball program is focused on finding ways to improve every day.
We’ll have to wait to learn more about what this means for the future of Vols men’s hoops, but it’s safe to say any joy from last night’s win over Vandy should probably be muted.
For more on Pearl and the Vols, visit Rocky Top Talk.
The Tennessee basketball program picked up a big win on Tuesday night, completing the season sweep of Vanderbilt with a 60-51 win. After the game, though, it was all about the NCAA investigation into the recruiting practices of head coach Bruce Pearl. Tennessee is reportedly set to release the findings to the public on Wednesday, and Pearl may be in hot water because of the results of the investigation.
Pearl's son, Steven Pearl, had six points for the Vols on Tuesday night, but talked of supporting his father, both as a coach and as family (via Wes Rucker on Twitter).
"You've just got to hope for the best, and hope nothing crazy comes out. No matter what, I've got my dad's back. On the court, I'm a player. But off the court, he's my dad, and I'll always be there for my dad."
Cam Tatum spoke of staying focused with all the distractions around the program as the Vols fight for a spot in the postseason. Pearl's suspension, and the pending investigation, have been hanging over the team's head for months now, and though the NCAA released its notice of allegations, any punishment won't come down for months. With the situation out of the team's control, the players appear to be taking a wait and see approach, instead worrying about preparing for the home-stretch this season.
Bruce Pearl could be charged with unethical conduct by the NCAA, according to a report by ESPN.com’s Andy Katz. Tennessee reportedly received a notice of infractions from the NCAA Tuesday, which are expected to be released by the school on Wednesday.
Pearl has been under investigation for having high school junior recruits over to his house, which was against recruiting rules. He also reportedly told them at the time that he knew their presence was a violation and then misled investigators on the matter.
But wait — didn’t Pearl already do his time? He missed the team’s first SEC games of this season. Yep, that was a punishment by the SEC, not the NCAA. That was nothing compared to what he could be staring down the barrel of.
A major portion of Tennessee’s athletic department is reportedly involved in the investigation, not just Pearl’s basketball program. The football and baseball programs also have serious questions to answer.
For more on Pearl and Tennessee, visit Rocky Top Talk.
Bruce Pearl, head coach of the Tennessee men's basketball team, has been suspended for this season's first eight SEC games (half of their league schedule), SEC commissioner Mike Slive announced on Friday.
"The suspension from coaching duties has been imposed after a careful review of the facts established during the NCAA's investigation and reported to the SEC office," said Slive. "I am extremely disappointed in the nature of the violations involving Coach Pearl and the Tennessee men's basketball program."
The suspension is punishment for "inappropriate conduct" during recruiting and providing false and misleading information to the NCAA during the investigation. The school imposed sanctions on itself back in September, and Pearl apologized to the fans and his players.
Pearl -- suspended from "team activities" which "include, but are not limited to practices, meetings, pre- and post-game activities and the game itself" -- will miss a stretch of Tennessee games beginning on Jan. 8, at Arkansas and concluding on Feb. 5, when the Volunteers host Alabama. Jan. 8, 2011 Tennessee at Arkansas.
Tennessee plays at Connecticut in the midst of that stretch, on Jan. 22, but Pearl will be allowed to coach, since it is an out-of-conference game.
For plenty more on this, head over to Rocky Top Talk.
What is it they say about it not being the crime that gets you, but the cover-up? Bruce Pearl might be learning about that right now as the NCAA investigates allegations of recruiting violations in the Tennessee basketball program.
All of this comes from a letter, dated Sept. 9, in which Athletics Director Mike Hamilton lays out the reasons for terminating Pearl’s contract. Pearl and the school are working on a new deal, and Hamilton has said the university intends to keep Pearl as head coach.
The letter lays out some of the circumstance related to a team cookout at Pearl’s home attended by recruits and their families, which Pearl reportedly told the families was a violation.
Pearl also told them that he was not going to tell anyone about the violation, and he asked they not tell anyone, either. …
The Sept. 9 notification letter involving Pearl’s contract also states that Pearl called a prospect’s father on June 14, 2010, before and after Pearl interviewed with the NCAA. …
Pearl told UT that he called Craft’s father to remind him that he had informed him that coming to his house would be a violation and that he had given him the choice to attend.
Hamilton and Pearl are downplaying the revelations from the letter, pointing out that there’s technically nothing new there (at least to them).
Follow Rocky Top Talk for the latest on Bruce Pearl and and all things Tennessee.
According to WBIR-TV, Tennessee basketball head coach Bruce Pearl is working without a contract while the NCAA investigates his recruiting practices.
Pearl’s contract was terminated on Sept. 9, the day before he revealed to the public that he had provided incorrect information during an interview with NCAA investigators, Tennessee spokesman Jimmy Stanton said Thursday.
Tennessee officials presented Pearl with a new contract two weeks ago with a reduced salary, and attorneys are working to complete the deal. Pearl was to make $12.5 million over four seasons before athletics director Mike Hamilton reduced it by $1.5 million as part of his punishment for misleading the NCAA.
The main reason for the contract rip-up was language in it that stated that Pearl could be fired if he committed “acts of fraud.” Tennessee is currently under investigation due to excessive phone calls by their staff to recruits as well as Pearl’s misleading of investigators in regards to then-recruits Aaron Craft and Josh Selby.
Throw in the issue that Tennessee currently has no President and the situation gets even more muddled. If Pearl was found guilty of committing fraud, who would be there to fire him?
Keep an eye on Rocky Top Talk for updates and analysis.
Bruce Pearl's "inappropriate conduct" with recruits apparently involved two high-school juniors, Aaron Craft and Josh Selby, visiting his home in 2008, a year before they would normally be allowed to visit with prospective coaches off-campus. SB Nation's Rocky Top Talk breaks down the implications:
Parrish goes on to report that Pearl lied to NCAA assistant director of enforcement Kristen Matha when asked about the in-home event. Parrish's sources say the NCAA already had photographic evidence of Pearl and Craft inside his home at the time, which, if true, means Pearl was busted right away and not found out later.
These allegations fall in line with the "inappropriate contact" theme we've heard for the last several days, and this certainly sheds some light on the timetable in terms of Pearl's truthfulness with the NCAA.
Stay tuned to this StoryStream for further updates, and to SB Nation's Rocky Top Talk.
SB Nation's Rocky Top Talk editors reacted with equal parts misery and weariness to the news of their beloved Bruce Pearl admitting to misleading the NCAA. Joel Hollingsworth calls the situation "truly awful":
I'm not even considering the sanctions at this point. I'm talking about watching Pearl fight back tears of embarrassment and shame, which he himself will tell you he deserves, as he took full responsibility for his actions and apologized, saying he let down himself, the University, the fans, and his players.
All that said, I think Pearl deserves a great deal of credit for the way he's handling himself now, and I'm betting that's a huge reason why he's still the coach. No one but Pat Summitt has more good will in the bank at Tennessee than Pearl, and while he may have spent every last penny, he still has a job here, and I, for one, am glad. But if there had been any hint of defensiveness or arrogance about, well, that could very well have been a different story.
Will Shelton is, if possible, even less sunny:
As a fan, I'm exhausted.
From Phillip Fulmer's final season until today, we've seen too much, defended our program too many times from too many things, and been rewarded with positive moments far too little.
For many people, Bruce Pearl is Tennessee Basketball. And so for many people, the initial concern isn't even what we did or didn't do wrong, but how this might in any way jeopardize Pearl's career at Tennessee, and if any postseason bans will be coming. Pearl sounded very contrite in his press conference, and he may be. But what was a golden image for Pearl in Knoxville has been tarnished...and whether Pearl, Hamilton, or our basketball team will survive it, who knows.
The Vols await news of any additional sanctions the NCAA may be imposing on top of the self-inflicted restrictions the coaching staff has accepted.
You can add another big college program to the list of those facing recruiting violations. The University of Tennessee has decided to impose sanctions on coach Bruce Pearl and the rest of their program because the school provided false and misleading information to the NCAA during an investigation into illegal contact with recruits.
The NCAA has reportedly been investigating Tennessee for excessive phone calls and the use of unauthorized phones to contact recruits, according to Dana O'Neill and Chris Low of ESPN. During the probe, Pearl lied and misled investigators.
Athletic Director Mike Hamilton announced the penalties in a press conference today. They include the following (via Chris Littmann):
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