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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.