Photo of recruit at Pearl's house key

Source: coach misled NCAA on location

University of Tennessee Head Men's Basketball Coach Bruce Pearl expresses remorse for giving misleading information to the NCAA during an investigation in June of this year. The press conference Friday, Sept. 10, 2010 revealed that Pearl's compensation will be reduced by $1.5 million over the next five years. At right is Knoxville Chancellor Dr. Jimmy Cheek.

Photo by Michael Patrick

University of Tennessee Head Men's Basketball Coach Bruce Pearl expresses remorse for giving misleading information to the NCAA during an investigation in June of this year. The press conference Friday, Sept. 10, 2010 revealed that Pearl's compensation will be reduced by $1.5 million over the next five years. At right is Knoxville Chancellor Dr. Jimmy Cheek.

A picture taken of a recruit at Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl's home during an unofficial visit nearly two years ago will play a key role into how the NCAA's investigation into the men's basketball program develops.

A source in the UT athletic department, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the NCAA investigation has not been completed, confirmed the latest recruiting violations the NCAA has been looking into.

The picture in question includes Ohio State freshman Aaron Craft, who was then a UT commitment.

Craft, reached via text message by the News Sentinel on Tuesday, said he and his family have been instructed not to comment and to refer all questions to Ohio State's compliance department.

Other players at Pearl's home during their unofficial visits during the Florida home football game weekend of Sept. 19-21, 2008, were UT freshman Jordan McRae and Kansas freshman Josh Selby, according to the source. Both McRae and Selby had made non-binding commitments to attend UT prior to the visit.

The source confirmed that Pearl and his assistant coaches, when asked in initial NCAA interviews on June 14 if they recognized where the photo was taken, said they did not.

Pearl initiated a second interview with the NCAA that was conducted on Aug. 5, during which he revealed information about the photo, according to the source.

Pearl said Friday he told NCAA investigators he provided misleading and incomplete testimony during the initial NCAA interview.

The players' presence at Pearl's home wasn't the only potential issue. By NCAA rule, food and drink cannot be provided in an off-campus setting during a junior's unofficial visit.

Assistant coaches Tony Jones, Steve Forbes and Jason Shay had their salaries reduced 25 percent as part of the self-imposed sanctions UT revealed Friday during a news conference pertaining to the school receiving an NCAA letter of inquiry.

Pearl's salary has been reduced $1.5 million over the next five years, and all four coaches have had their off-campus recruiting privileges suspended beginning on Sept. 24.

Pearl said Friday the nature of the violations in question did not provide UT with an appreciable competitive advantage.

UT revealed Friday that the coaching staff also made an excess of phone calls within the time frame of the past two calendar recruiting years.

"It's not so much what we did; the worst thing was how we handled it,'' Pearl said Friday. "I don't think our intention or result was to gain a tremendous recruiting advantage.''

The distinction could prove key when the case reaches the summary disposition and/or the infractions committee portion of the NCAA process.

When doling out punishment - reduction of scholarships, recruiting restrictions or postseason bans - the NCAA takes into account the competitive advantage gained by non-compliant actions.

Hamilton said during Friday's news conference he anticipates unethical conduct charges to be levied against Pearl, but UT hopes the severe and unprecedented self-imposed sanctions will satisfy the NCAA to the extent further penalties - that could affect current players - won't be issued.

Pearl, Forbes and Jones are out on the road recruiting this week, as their off-campus suspensions begin in nine days.

UT's two verbal commitments in the Class of 2011, guards Kevin Ware and Chris Jones, said Saturday they will remain firm and sign with UT.

The NCAA letter of inquiry indicated the NCAA enforcement staff hopes to have its investigation complete by December of 2010, at which point a letter of allegations will be sent to UT.

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Comments » 156

eduardo writes:

Man oh Man the hits just keep on coming!!

Dexter writes:

BP has to go. This is only the beginning. Let's stop blaming Hamilton, BP owns this.

smyrnavol writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

DUDE....Thats all i can say, and i'm a redneck! say it like you live in the real world. W._D. your not!

Ironcity writes:

Are you clowns kidding me? He invited them over for dinner. Its a little deal. Should he have done it? No but its not that big a deal. For you idiots like listen to the music you should go into Vol stuff and look at the article discussing illegal calls. 10 coaches were interviewed and all 10 said they have made illegal calls. The question really comes to competitive advantage and did UT get one. I will trust my coach since I really have no reason not to. For you people that want to fire him if he is caught Jay walking well live in your perfect world and be miserable. I will continue living in to the real world.

Go coach I 96% of the UT family are behind you 100%!

Orangeblood13 writes:

listen and okemho

you guys are just lying in wait to pile on, really, do you not have anything else to do?

Who gives 2 cents what either of you have to opinion on or say.

What Bruce has done on the positive note is far greater on what he has done here, most Vol fans will believe that. There are alot worse going on out there that is our competition. Bruce came forward, punishment done, move along

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

Pretty baffled, for sure.
-Bruce is a VERY smart man
-Bruce is a veteran coach
-all UT coaches know reporters can't wait to dig up dirt on them
-we have a 'compliance office', right??

So, put altogether...what the hell is going on??

I'd have thought that if they 'tripped' any where, it would have been contact at AAU events.

Hunter writes:

I can't believe that Hamilton still has a job after Pearl informed him OVER A MONTH AGO that this happened, yet he only called the press conference after the NCAA kept snooping.

What about the punishment for Hamilton? Will he really let CBP and Co. fall on their Big Orange swords to save his own hide?

It is LONG past time for a change, and I hope someone at UT has the authority and the stones to do it. Now.

FWBVol writes:

in response to Ironcity:

Are you clowns kidding me? He invited them over for dinner. Its a little deal. Should he have done it? No but its not that big a deal. For you idiots like listen to the music you should go into Vol stuff and look at the article discussing illegal calls. 10 coaches were interviewed and all 10 said they have made illegal calls. The question really comes to competitive advantage and did UT get one. I will trust my coach since I really have no reason not to. For you people that want to fire him if he is caught Jay walking well live in your perfect world and be miserable. I will continue living in to the real world.

Go coach I 96% of the UT family are behind you 100%!

I have to disagree with you on this one. Having a kid over to his house on an unofficial visit is a big deal...at least the NCAA thinks so. It's such a big deal the CPF lied about it to the NCAA the first time, and that's what concerns me.

You claim to have no reason not to trust Pearl, but the man admitted to lying, and that in itself is enough to make many of us question whether or not he is trustworthy.

iadvol writes:

Hamilton is a debacle

VolWoman writes:

in response to Ironcity:

Are you clowns kidding me? He invited them over for dinner. Its a little deal. Should he have done it? No but its not that big a deal. For you idiots like listen to the music you should go into Vol stuff and look at the article discussing illegal calls. 10 coaches were interviewed and all 10 said they have made illegal calls. The question really comes to competitive advantage and did UT get one. I will trust my coach since I really have no reason not to. For you people that want to fire him if he is caught Jay walking well live in your perfect world and be miserable. I will continue living in to the real world.

Go coach I 96% of the UT family are behind you 100%!

I just want to let you know you aren't alone. I agree. Until something like paying players or having transcripts changed (cough Bledsoe) happens, I think the sanctions from UT are punishment enough. I hope the NCAA agrees.

BigBadVol writes:

in response to listentothemusic:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

1vavolfan writes:

Oh my, Pearl invited a recruit to his home and fed him a hot dog. He even called him a couple of times over the NCAA limit. This is absolutely ridiculous, the way KNS and some of the haters on here are reacting you would have thought Pearl offered new cars and money. Kentucky blatantly paid Eric Bledsoe's rent his senior year in high school and you hardly hear anything about it.

Can you clowns read the article, this is not murder or a real crime here, it is phone calls and meals. Read Dana O'Neill's article on ESPN on the anonoymous coach survey, they ALL do this stuff, just our luck that we get caught.

everydayisorange writes:

I don't like the fact CBP lied. This goes to credibility. It will certainly make it more difficult to sit in a recruits home and expect the parents to believe in him. With that said, unless players were paid or classes falsely graded or some other KY mistake then we need to keep him.lol

hcjournals#206623 writes:

Lighten up. He screwed up. He made it worse. He had a conscience. He self reported it. He will pay for it. Lay down the pipe and get over it......Glass houses, Remember?

CRFVols writes:

Can Pat coach both teams? lol

TommyJack writes:

I back BP.

GreerVol22 writes:

in response to 1vavolfan:

Oh my, Pearl invited a recruit to his home and fed him a hot dog. He even called him a couple of times over the NCAA limit. This is absolutely ridiculous, the way KNS and some of the haters on here are reacting you would have thought Pearl offered new cars and money. Kentucky blatantly paid Eric Bledsoe's rent his senior year in high school and you hardly hear anything about it.

Can you clowns read the article, this is not murder or a real crime here, it is phone calls and meals. Read Dana O'Neill's article on ESPN on the anonoymous coach survey, they ALL do this stuff, just our luck that we get caught.

vavol, you are the only one so far to make sense.

Look, these kids are not coming to UT for the stellar academics. Most of the NCAA rules makes good sense but there is hosting and then there is entertaining. By the later I mean cars, cash, and women. A meal, a couple phone calls...come on NCAA....better check yourself before the fans lose interest. The economy is already taking enough fans out of the stands, and you are not helping with this trivial BS.

Mule_Days_King writes:

in response to 1vavolfan:

Oh my, Pearl invited a recruit to his home and fed him a hot dog. He even called him a couple of times over the NCAA limit. This is absolutely ridiculous, the way KNS and some of the haters on here are reacting you would have thought Pearl offered new cars and money. Kentucky blatantly paid Eric Bledsoe's rent his senior year in high school and you hardly hear anything about it.

Can you clowns read the article, this is not murder or a real crime here, it is phone calls and meals. Read Dana O'Neill's article on ESPN on the anonoymous coach survey, they ALL do this stuff, just our luck that we get caught.

Go to www.al.com to read an article about Bledsoe and some "discrepancies" about his grades.

Folks, don't be surprised if Pearl isn't severly punished beyond what the university has done.
My initial thought was a couple of scholarships and a one-year postseason ban. Now, I am beginning to suspect the NCAA will hammer Bruce.

Mule_Days_King writes:

If Bruce cheated, he absolutely deserves punishment by the NCAA. We as UT fans, hammer UK and Bammer about being cheaters, but I have seen many a poster on this site simply say that we should look the other way regarding Bruce's situation. Be consistent fellow UT fans. We should hold all coaches to a high standard but we should hold OUR coaches to an even higher standard.

Shiggidyhappens writes:

Who took the picture and then releashed it? That's who needs to get dusted. If it's a recruit, hammer him along with everybody else (because took all the spoils, didn't protest at the time and then spilled the beans). If it's from within...well you know what we do with traitors and spys.

skm writes:

in response to 1vavolfan:

Oh my, Pearl invited a recruit to his home and fed him a hot dog. He even called him a couple of times over the NCAA limit. This is absolutely ridiculous, the way KNS and some of the haters on here are reacting you would have thought Pearl offered new cars and money. Kentucky blatantly paid Eric Bledsoe's rent his senior year in high school and you hardly hear anything about it.

Can you clowns read the article, this is not murder or a real crime here, it is phone calls and meals. Read Dana O'Neill's article on ESPN on the anonoymous coach survey, they ALL do this stuff, just our luck that we get caught.

no kidding. there is a lot of animosity towards pearl that is undeserving. he shouldn't have done what he did, but let's not burn him at the stake. he will survive through all of this and thrive.

keep in mind, this is an ongoing investigation. every little tidbit the media deems newsworthy will make it to the front page. in the grand scheme of things, his crimes are pretty minor compared to what's really going on out there.

where did craft and selby end up anyway :)

The7Maxims writes:

in response to Hunter:

I can't believe that Hamilton still has a job after Pearl informed him OVER A MONTH AGO that this happened, yet he only called the press conference after the NCAA kept snooping.

What about the punishment for Hamilton? Will he really let CBP and Co. fall on their Big Orange swords to save his own hide?

It is LONG past time for a change, and I hope someone at UT has the authority and the stones to do it. Now.

I think a big part of Hamilton keeping his job is that we don't have a university president. I don't believe that Hamilton is running around free to do whatever he wants, but there is no accountability at the top

In the history of UT athletics, this is the most unstable our program has ever been. We need stability from the top. Nebraska was smart and appointed Dr. Tom Osborne to steady the ship. We need something similar.

Singaporehillbilly writes:

in response to Dexter:

BP has to go. This is only the beginning. Let's stop blaming Hamilton, BP owns this.

If only an isolated case then I agree Hammy is not to blame. But, the football team under Hammy's LK, the basketball team under Hammy's BP and it is really laughable the baseball team under Hammy's TR.

Hammy has no business pretending to be an athletic director. He has no control and no management and/or business skills.

The7Maxims writes:

in response to VolWoman:

I just want to let you know you aren't alone. I agree. Until something like paying players or having transcripts changed (cough Bledsoe) happens, I think the sanctions from UT are punishment enough. I hope the NCAA agrees.

I don't know about that. The NCAA doesn't like liars. Dez Bryant lost his final year at Oklahoma State because he lied about having dinner with Deion Sanders. Bryant having dinner with Sanders was totally legal, but the NCAA dealt harsh punishment because of the misleading information he gave them. This won't end good for us. I still love Pearl.

Mule_Days_King writes:

in response to CatScratchFever:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Are you serious? EVERY athletic dept has a compliance official.
Oh....I get it now. Trying to get your first jab in for the day, Cat. Keep piling on, Blue Mister. Now go to www.al.com to read a little story about Bledsoe and his grades his senior year in HS.

Rockytop38 writes:

One reason so many folks are after Tennessee is the basketball program is on the rise with the intense Pearl as head coach. This guy can recruit and coach. What, we were 1 point away from the Final Four. Think about it. The program is on the way up under BP and he will be there a long time.

budd#207344 writes:

For those of you who do not know this the NCAA is the University of Tennessee and every other major college in America. Their rules are OUR rules. They are voted on by the universities and the NCAA is told by the university presidents to enforce them. So blaming the NCAA for enforcing their laws and rules is kinda like blaming the government for enforcing the laws our elected reps pass. If the government actually did enforce the laws.

al2476 writes:

It pass time for Mikie Hamilton to be let go and get a new AD.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

in response to Orangeblood13:

listen and okemho

you guys are just lying in wait to pile on, really, do you not have anything else to do?

Who gives 2 cents what either of you have to opinion on or say.

What Bruce has done on the positive note is far greater on what he has done here, most Vol fans will believe that. There are alot worse going on out there that is our competition. Bruce came forward, punishment done, move along

Are you kidding? They are totally unemployed and sit on the internet waiting to stick thorns in UT's side. They are interlopers (Fla. or Ala.) and like to see the responses they get.

The staff has admitted they screwed up. They did no worse than many other programs, they will be punished. They deserve one more chance.

arkyvol writes:

from all the hoo-ha in the press, i thought this was a reggie bush level offense. now it seems like the difference between murder-1 and an overtime parking ticket.

manoffewwords writes:

in response to TommyJack:

I back BP.

Also 100%

sevenmaxims#354995 writes:

in response to The7Maxims:

I think a big part of Hamilton keeping his job is that we don't have a university president. I don't believe that Hamilton is running around free to do whatever he wants, but there is no accountability at the top

In the history of UT athletics, this is the most unstable our program has ever been. We need stability from the top. Nebraska was smart and appointed Dr. Tom Osborne to steady the ship. We need something similar.

Important notice: "The7Maxims" is not the same person that posts on Volquest as "7maxims" and elsewhere as "sevenmaxims'.

volsfan74 writes:

BP I still love and support you BUT you have disappointed and embarrassed the Vols Nation. Now go out there redeem yourself, keep it clean and we will get through this. Don't do what some of the other chicken yellows have done take off and leave the problem for the University to deal with!

TommyJack writes:

in response to CatScratchFever:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You're from KY and want to talk about compliance?

thevoice writes:

Don't like the trend curve here. Me thinks there's more to come. We've only been privy to the info Pearl has admitted and his transgressions include lying. What else is he lying about?

Another concern: Pearl, you're 50 years old. Are you just now learning that it's important to tell the whole truth and not just the partial truth? Is this part of your Jewish traditions? Gees, I like you, but you're making it difficult on the Vol Nation.

TommyJack writes:

in response to thevoice:

Don't like the trend curve here. Me thinks there's more to come. We've only been privy to the info Pearl has admitted and his transgressions include lying. What else is he lying about?

Another concern: Pearl, you're 50 years old. Are you just now learning that it's important to tell the whole truth and not just the partial truth? Is this part of your Jewish traditions? Gees, I like you, but you're making it difficult on the Vol Nation.

Reference to his religion way out of line, pal.

jumby92 writes:

Nobody really cares about the phone calls or the party. BP lied to the investigators twice now (first about the phone calls and then about the pics). I don't think the guy is stupid, but I'd say the arrogance is definitely there and the program will suffer for it.

Mule_Days_King writes:

in response to thevoice:

Don't like the trend curve here. Me thinks there's more to come. We've only been privy to the info Pearl has admitted and his transgressions include lying. What else is he lying about?

Another concern: Pearl, you're 50 years old. Are you just now learning that it's important to tell the whole truth and not just the partial truth? Is this part of your Jewish traditions? Gees, I like you, but you're making it difficult on the Vol Nation.

Here's a stone for you to throw, Pharisee.

thevoice writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Reference to his religion way out of line, pal.

Only mentioned his religion because he himself discusses it frequently and appears very adamant about it, and for that I commend him.

TKO writes:

Eventually the NCAA will start tagging coaches with violations and any school that hires them will inherit their sanctions. If this was applied to KY's coach, he would not have been hired. In this situation, I believe that Pearl lied and violated rules. He came clean when it was about to hit the fan. Hamilton was also aware and it will be interesting to discover in the months to come what Hamilton knew and when. Should be interesting.

voloffaith writes:

in response to sevenmaxims#354995:

Important notice: "The7Maxims" is not the same person that posts on Volquest as "7maxims" and elsewhere as "sevenmaxims'.

Wow I feel better that has been cleared up. I was so dazed and confused that I just plain froze up sitting here.

On topic, Bruce knew better and did it any way. That sadly speaks volumes about his commitment to win at almost all costs. No he didn't do cars or cash as far as we know,but deceit/lying is not right for a UT representative! The hammer will probably come down from nc2a pretty hard,but not the death penalty.

utfan15govols writes:

in response to TommyJack:

You're from KY and want to talk about compliance?

lmao, Now that is funny, I don't care who you are.

TopTenn writes:

in response to eduardo:

Man oh Man the hits just keep on coming!!

There is nothing else coming. Pearl lied about the recruits being at his house. The phone calls to recruits were done by the assistant coaches. UT has already spoken to the NCAA about self-imposed penalties. We may lose one or two scholarships from this debacle.

utfan15govols writes:

You know, to be honest. If I was a recruit, I would prefer a one on one with my future coach rather it be at his home with a meal or a McDonalds. I am not happy about Pearl breaking the rules, but yet there are soooo man of them, how the heck can you keep up with what is what. I'd imagine most are from the days of Ray Mears too.

Ayres_Hall writes:

I can't believe I STLL read these comments. Ugh!

Mule_Days_King writes:

in response to TopTenn:

There is nothing else coming. Pearl lied about the recruits being at his house. The phone calls to recruits were done by the assistant coaches. UT has already spoken to the NCAA about self-imposed penalties. We may lose one or two scholarships from this debacle.

Have to disagree, TT. The program would have lost the scholarships if Pearl had been honest when interviewed in June. To say he has compounded the issue would be an understatement.

VOLliven2it writes:

I am a Pearl supporter but I have some questions no matter what else. If he thought it was no big deal to have these recruits over, why did he lie? As for self-reporting, how long was it before he realized after June there might be a problem? Why was it August before self-reporting took place? Rules are rules, unfair, stupid, and even not equally applied to all in all circumstances, makes no difference. The problem comes in that when one has lied about one thing, he or she becomes questionable in many things. Now the NCAA has reason to question a number of things about Coach Pearl. This usually means they will be coming hard after him and we have no idea how it will all turn out.
Finally and I feel most sadly about the possibility that much of the greatness he has brought to UT men's bb could be negated from bad press and worst of all may make him have to leave. I hope the worst does not happen but with the NCAA, one never knows.

cdtnladyvols931#663910 writes:

in response to Ironcity:

Are you clowns kidding me? He invited them over for dinner. Its a little deal. Should he have done it? No but its not that big a deal. For you idiots like listen to the music you should go into Vol stuff and look at the article discussing illegal calls. 10 coaches were interviewed and all 10 said they have made illegal calls. The question really comes to competitive advantage and did UT get one. I will trust my coach since I really have no reason not to. For you people that want to fire him if he is caught Jay walking well live in your perfect world and be miserable. I will continue living in to the real world.

Go coach I 96% of the UT family are behind you 100%!

i agree with you 100% it was alittle dinner, he knew they wern't supposed to do it; so everybody get over it! I am sure their are alot worse things coaches at other colleges do; for example, the big heisman trophy winner Reggie Bush. If they knew now he had been inelliglble, they must have knew it back in '05, was Kiffin still at USC then?

volky writes:

in response to eduardo:

Man oh Man the hits just keep on coming!!

Unfortunately, that is what happens when the NCAA starts digging.

NYvolFan writes:

One thing that seems to perhaps matter here is the "competitive advantage" factor. If that's the case, it might help that all 3 at his home had verbally committed to UT. That would seem to squash that it was done to gain some competitive advantage. Anyone have knowledgeable input on this?

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