Pearl penalized by UT for misleading NCAA investigation

University of Tennessee Head Men's Basketball Coach Bruce Pearl, left, Knoxville Chancellor Dr. Jimmy Cheek, center, and Director of Athletics Mike Hamilton during a press conference Friday, Sep. 10, 2010 to discuss the 'Letter of Inquiry' from the NCAA concerning basketball recruiting. The press conference was interrupted and by a fire alarm and then resumed.

Photo by Michael Patrick

University of Tennessee Head Men's Basketball Coach Bruce Pearl, left, Knoxville Chancellor Dr. Jimmy Cheek, center, and Director of Athletics Mike Hamilton during a press conference Friday, Sep. 10, 2010 to discuss the "Letter of Inquiry" from the NCAA concerning basketball recruiting. The press conference was interrupted and by a fire alarm and then resumed.

University of Tennessee men's basketball Coach Bruce Pearl

Photo by Michael Patrick // Buy this photo

University of Tennessee men's basketball Coach Bruce Pearl

Bruce Pearl comments on NCAA investigation

Athletic director, chancellor address NCAA investigation

Tennessee men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl provided false and misleading information to the NCAA when questioned about potential violations involving improper phone contact with recruits during a 17-month investigation.

UT athletic director Mike Hamilton announced Friday that Pearl and his coaching staff will suffer a reduction in pay and a suspension of off-campus recruiting duties.

“I apologize from the bottom of my heart that I let everyone down,'' an emotional Pearl said at a press conference, called by UT after the school announced it had received a letter of inquiry from the NCAA. “I let my family down, the university down, our fans down, and I let my players down.

“I have a responsibility to lead by example,and I expect more from myself, and so should you.''

Hamilton said Pearl provided the incorrect information to the NCAA during questioning that took place at the end of June.

But Pearl said his conscience got the best of him, and he informed Hamilton “within a matter of days” that some of the information he provided was incorrect.

“There was a very small segment of the line of questions where misinformation was provided,'' Hamilton said. “They were asking ... about our telephone situation.''

Hamilton said the NCAA returned at the end of July for another round of questioning.

Pearl will not be permitted to engage in any off campus recruiting for a period of one year, beginning on Sept. 24.

Pearl's compensation will be reduced by $1.5 million over the remainder of his contract, which expires on June 30, 2015.

In addition, a retention bonus of $500,000 which is due on Nov. 30, 2012 will be delayed until June 30, 2015.

Three UT assistants - Tony Jones, Steve Forbes and Jason Shay - will receive a 25 percent salary reduction beginning Oct. 1 and face recruiting restrictions off campus. Jones can't recruit off campus for 9 months, Forbes for one year and Shay for 3 months.

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Comments » 301

volcycle writes:

That's not good!

bobbarbilly writes:

This is an April fool's joke...right??

OrangeCrush writes:

You've got to be kidding me!

Volsfan2456 writes:

I know everyone makes mistakes and I am sorry that he did. But he has been under investigation from years ago on other violations. Im glad that he manned up and took responsibility for it. But I will not say another word about Calipari and his lack of ethics when it comes to recruiting.

rockytop4ever writes:

WOW.....say it aint so Bruce! say it aint so!

orangeman1 writes:

So, how did he mislead the NCAA? Isnt that a nice word for lie? Obviously he has something to hide, and there will be more to come or UT wouldnt be cutting his salary for "misleading". This stinks. UT better watch out cause obviously the NCAA is watching them closely.

PepperGrinder (Inactive) writes:

I still love ya Bruce.

Mule_Days_King writes:

"Mislead" is another word for lie. Bruce lied to the NCAA. About what I want to know.
No excuse Bruce. None. Period.

ctownvol writes:

I'm tired of it! Every day it's something else. Players fighting. Hostessgate. Too many calls to recruits. Now coaches "misleading" an NCAA investigation? I know it's not like UT is the only school with things like this, but it's just plain ugly. No matter where it is. Just once I want to wake up and make it through a dang day or week without hearing about junk like this.

UTbassdrummer writes:

in response to dirtdobber01:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

bad form.

BrassMonkey writes:

Makes you long for the days of a clean head coach. Hammy needs to go.

Smokey91 writes:

Next thing you know, they are going to tell us that Bruce can't walk on water.

SuckTheseVols98 writes:

I mean seriously why do these rules exist?? For the little schools, screw them! If you cant hang with the big boys dont play the game.

bustervols writes:

Uh oh.

Mule_Days_King writes:

We go the LOI. Usually they are all-encompassing including all sports.
Does anyone know if any other sport was mentioned?

GreenbackMike writes:

I still support and love this team. Bruce is OUR coach and I will stand behind him regardless of the situation, He has brought a basketball back to a Football school. CBP you are still a great man and a wonderful Coach! Go Vols

jsnewman writes:

Can anyone say, lack of institutional control? Yet gain one more reason to fire Hamilton!

BrassMonkey writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Volsfan2456 writes:

in response to dirtdobber01:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The school he worked for at the time was under investigation because of Pearls conversation with Thomas about the head coach. (Ill Champaign? I think). And just because Im sorry for Bruce and his mishandling and misleading words to the NCAA, does not mean I am not a VOL fan. I already have forgive him....but my point is I cant make fun of coach Cal anymore, because our coach has the NCAA looking at ethics and violations as well.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to GreenbackMike:

I still support and love this team. Bruce is OUR coach and I will stand behind him regardless of the situation, He has brought a basketball back to a Football school. CBP you are still a great man and a wonderful Coach! Go Vols

What I was going to say!! Ditto!! Plus, we all make mistakes.

bretticus25#294810 writes:

in response to orangeman1:

So, how did he mislead the NCAA? Isnt that a nice word for lie? Obviously he has something to hide, and there will be more to come or UT wouldnt be cutting his salary for "misleading". This stinks. UT better watch out cause obviously the NCAA is watching them closely.

Bruce is to "mislead" as Hillary Clinton (and evidently other lawyers) is to "misspeak".

Volsfan2456 writes:

I hope this is his last problem , NCAA violation wise, at UT. Great Coach...great motivator and I hope for all the best in the future.

Volunatic writes:

"Pearl will lose one-year salary over five years of his contract or about 25 percent each year."

Some good math there...

kyvol98 writes:

I'm thinking Selby and then UK will be next.

budd#207344 writes:

in response to BrassMonkey:

Makes you long for the days of a clean head coach. Hammy needs to go.

Wait a minute. All you Hamilton haters said Ernie Grunfield was responsible for BP. Need to haul down Ernie's jersey not fire Hamilton

bretticus25#294810 writes:

in response to jsnewman:

Can anyone say, lack of institutional control? Yet gain one more reason to fire Hamilton!

Well, you know, there is one common denominator in these screwups that I will remind you are extremely costly both in money and in respect. It would seem to be Hamilton. Why is he still there? Is this the university's way of endorsing Peter Principle as legitimate?

totoiv writes:

in response to Volsfan2456:

The school he worked for at the time was under investigation because of Pearls conversation with Thomas about the head coach. (Ill Champaign? I think). And just because Im sorry for Bruce and his mishandling and misleading words to the NCAA, does not mean I am not a VOL fan. I already have forgive him....but my point is I cant make fun of coach Cal anymore, because our coach has the NCAA looking at ethics and violations as well.

I think Pearl took some heat because he turned in another Big 10 team for doing this exact violation. He had a recruit tape phone calls from other schools outside the recruiting window and then Pearl turned them into the NCAA. Some of the other Big 10 schools thought Pearl took this too far and some suspect he was blacklisted and not able to get a Division 1 job for sometime.

volboy81 writes:

Nice. Kentucky cheats from hell to breakfast and Tennessee gets in trouble! But, like they saying goes, it all comes out in the wash!

Vol737 writes:

in response to RichieRich:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Just turn down the TV volume and listen to Kesling...as painful as that might be.

Brillovol writes:

in response to jsnewman:

Can anyone say, lack of institutional control? Yet gain one more reason to fire Hamilton!

That's my fear. It's not like USC or anything, but they will come down heavier (read: major violations) if they find stuff in both basketball and football. The only thing we got going for us is that the football violators are no longer on campus.

antivol writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

shtooo (Inactive) writes:

this makes me sad... I thought he was building it the right way with his infectious personality...should've known better =( very, very disappointed I liked Pearl a lot.

thebadsamaritan writes:

Isn't Adonis Thomas on campus this weekend for his official visit?
**snicker**
He'll be a Memphis Tiger anyway...this only makes it better!

volinvegas writes:

Hamilton has got to go!!

Xvolfan85X writes:

Wow. I really can't believe that people are saying he needs to be fired. He made a mistake and turned himself in. I back him up. He has been great to the program and university and makes one mistake and people are ready to hang him. I do not know about our fanbase sometimes.

username writes:

What I find perplexing is the reasoning behind the lies to the NCAA investigators. Allegedly, the coaches were contacting recruits "excessively", and they used prepaid phones to do so. This is debatably a stupid rule, but I minor infraction nonetheless. Given the lack of severity, once the investigation started, why didn't CBP just say "look, yeah... we made a few excessive calls. We'll tone it down"? Had the NCAA simply tagged us with a secondary violation for a few extra SMS and phone calls, who'd give a phooey? But the conduct of CBP and his assistants just makes it look a lot worse than it ever should have been.

Vol737 writes:

in response to antivol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

UK fans must know a lot about trash...my garbage man is a UK grad.

SkySoldiersMom writes:

I am just shocked! Shocked that UT would do anything about this misleading Bruce was caught at. Who would have ever though he would lie...

volinvegas writes:

in response to antivol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That's because Cal IS a cheater. Feel free to review the carnage he left behind at every school he's coached at. I am very disappointed in Coach Pearl, and mad as hell at Mike Hamilton.

SkySoldiersMom writes:

in response to Vol737:

UK fans must know a lot about trash...my garbage man is a UK grad.

oops that was funny...

cgbtn writes:

in response to Mule_Days_King:

We go the LOI. Usually they are all-encompassing including all sports.
Does anyone know if any other sport was mentioned?

The LOI is posted on the UT web site. There is a cover letter and a detailed letter. I did not read the latter. However, if football was involved, I suspect Coach Dooley would have attended the presser to speak for Kiffin.

bUTchVFL writes:

I am so sick of seeing us in the news for negative press. A blowout to Oregon tomorrow will make for a horrible weekend. Lets hope the Titans can beat the Raiders. GBO!

bretticus25#294810 writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

ATLVOL55 writes:

if that's it...i agree with you "username." Its always better just to man up and admit it

orangeman1 writes:

in response to Brillovol:

That's my fear. It's not like USC or anything, but they will come down heavier (read: major violations) if they find stuff in both basketball and football. The only thing we got going for us is that the football violators are no longer on campus.

A 1.5 millions penalty. This is major or noone would be giving up 1.5 mil. Not just a secondary viol. If that were the case, Kiffin would've given up 100% of his salary for the 7 secondary viol. Plus his staff giving up 25%. Plus, no recruiting away from school? This doesnt look good, and the NCAA doesnt care if Kiffin is gone. I have a bad feeling about this and the football investigation. I think the NCAA is about to finally get UT.

LouVol writes:

Just when we have things rolling, this happens. All the phooey that Calpari has done the last several years and is doing at UK now, why is he not punished? This is bull!

westennvol writes:

Time for Mike Hamilton to go....can anyone say lack of institutional control?

volsnationalchamps writes:

in response to antivol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

This is defintily not great news... That being said, are you kidding me. Everyone in country knows Cal is the biggest cheater in NCAA in any sport, even bigger than Kiff and staff.

ATLVOL55 writes:

Do you know how much not recruiting off campus for one year will kill a couple of recruiting classes...most of these coaches go to many, many camps and games...

If Hamilton is imposing this; he must think we are in deep with the NCAA...this is not good

shtooo (Inactive) writes:

in response to antivol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

easy there! I, for one, hate to see any program on probation(not that ut is). It sucks for the kids that didn't cause it. they get punished for the mistakes of others. I'm glad to see UT punish the coaches so heavily though, since it was their mistake there should be more accountability by the coaches imo

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