Bruce Pearl suspended for 8 SEC games
Tennessee men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl is continuing to work under a letter of appointment after receiving notice on Sept. 9 that his previous contract was being terminated.
Chancellor Jimmy Cheek confirmed Friday that UT's general counsel is re-working Pearl's contract after its first contract offer to him on Oct. 8 included provisions that both parties have since deemed inappropriate and/or unnecessary. Pearl returned the first contract offer on Oct. 22.
"Currently it's (the contract) in our general counsel's office and we hope to have that from her very soon,'' Cheek said. "We will get the contract finalized. We believe we've made the right decision.''
Pearl was suspended Friday by SEC commissioner Mike Slive for the first eight SEC games for violating NCAA rules and misleading investigators about photos taken of him and a recruit at his home in 2008.
UT athletic director Mike Hamilton said he expects UT to receive the NCAA enforcement staff's letter of allegations shortly.
The NCAA informed UT that it hoped to have its investigation finished and the letter of allegations delivered in December.
The Vols football and baseball programs also have been under investigation, but Hamilton has said he doesn't believe either of those sports are facing any major violations, and thus the school has not taken the step of self-imposing any sanctions.
The men's basketball program could be facing four major violations relating to Pearl's unethical conduct and 97 impermissible phone calls over a three-year period.
The case will go into the NCAA's summary disposition phase before ultimately going before the NCAA infractions committee as early as February but more likely in April.
The NCAA could dole out more penalties or accept the self-imposed sanctions UT has put forth.
Based on a recently settled case involving similar circumstances at Chattanooga, it's likely the Vols will be placed on probation for a minimum of two years in addition to losing scholarships.