The Tennessee men’s basketball program was probed as part of an ongoing NCAA investigation into the school’s athletic department, a source in the UT athletic department told The News Sentinel Thursday night.
According to the source, who spoke to the News Sentinel on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing nature of the investigation, the NCAA has interviewed coach Bruce Pearl and associate head coach Tony Jones over the matter of potential violations.
The NCAA investigation involves phone calls and contacts made with recruits outside the parameters of NCAA rules, according to the source.
UT has not received a letter of inquiry from the NCAA.
Hamilton declined to comment on the NCAA investigation when reached via text message on Thursday night.
Pearl did not attend practice nor go out on the road recruiting Thursday, taking an official day off to celebrate the Jewish New Year with his family.
Assistant coaches Steve Forbes and Jones, who along with Pearl handle the bulk of recruiting, were on the road seeing prospects.
Forbes visited no less than six Memphis high schools Thursday, while Jones was in Atlanta and Clarksville. Neither of the assistant coaches could be reached for comment Thursday night.
The NCAA made contact last year with UT relating to possible improper use of hostesses in recruiting under former football coach Lane Kiffin during his one season.
Holdovers from that staff — Lance Thompson and Jim Chaney — were questioned by the NCAA last spring and ESPN.com confirmed that former UT assistant Eddie Gran had been as well, though whether UT is being investigated for more than the Orange Pride issue could not be addressed specifically by Hamilton.
“They originally came to us to talk to us about allegations related to the hostess situation last fall,” Hamilton said last month.