NCAA to slam Pearl with multi-year penalty
By SPORTS NETWORK
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- After a long NCAA investigation stemming from charges of multiple major violations, Tennessee's men's basketball program will reportedly not receive anything beyond its self-imposed penalties.
Former head coach Bruce Pearl will not be as fortunate.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reported that the NCAA will levy a three-year show-cause penalty against Pearl while his three former assistants -- Tony Jones, Jason Shay and Steve Forbes -- will all receive one-year penalties.
The show-cause penalties will force a school wanting to hire any of the former Tennessee coaches during their respective bans to go before the NCAA and explain its reasoning. If the NCAA approves the hire, the school could face additional penalties.
Pearl and his staff were accused of providing misleading information regarding a photo Pearl took with then-high school junior Aaron Craft inside Pearl's home.
All four coaches initially denied knowing where the photograph took place, but Pearl soon after admitted to hosting unofficial visitors at his home, a major violation of NCAA recruiting bylaws. Tennessee docked Pearl's and his staff's salaries and limited their recruiting before firing them this past March.
Tennessee has already imposed a two-year probation for the entire athletic department and multiple recruiting restrictions on both the men's basketball and football programs. Those aggressive penalties, plus other factors, including Pearl's salary reduction, his eight-game suspension from the SEC, and his firing, have reportedly helped save the men's basketball program from greater problems, which could have included scholarship losses and a postseason ban.
Pearl revived the men's basketball program on the court, winning 231 games in six seasons and making the NCAA Tournament each year, including two trips to the Sweet 16 and another to the Elite Eight. He is currently considering a head coaching position with the Texas Legends of the NBA Development League.