Sources: UT escapes further sanctions; NCAA announcement today

Former coach to get 3-year show cause, assistants 1 year

Former Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl.

Photo by Adam Brimer

Former Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl.

More than two years since the NCAA began investigating its athletic program and nearly one year since the inquiry became public, the University of Tennessee received the closest thing to a happy ending Tuesday.

Its former men's basketball coaches, specifically Bruce Pearl, did not.

Other than what it has already self-imposed, the UT's men's basketball and football programs, which were initially accused of committing a combined 12 major violations, will not be hit with any further sanctions from the NCAA, multiple sources told the News Sentinel.

The multiple sources requested anonymity because the NCAA is set to announce the findings from June's Committee on Infractions hearing today.

Pearl will receive a three-year show-cause penalty while his three former assistants — Tony Jones, Jason Shay and Steve Forbes — all will receive a one-year show-cause penalty.

The two major violations levied against the football program were found to be secondary violations. Outside of the penalties UT self-sanctioned before June's hearing, no further punishment was levied against the UT program, former coach Lane Kiffin or former assistant David Reaves.

An NCAA spokesman didn't respond to phone calls Tuesday. UT spokeswoman Margie Nichols said she could not comment.

A "show-cause" penalty effectively prevents a coach from acquiring a job at an NCAA institution through the duration of its assigned length. If a school wants to hire a coach who is in the midst of serving a show-cause penalty, it must go before the Committee on Infractions to explain why it wants to do so. If approved, the school could potentially risk being hit with additional penalties from the committee.

Pearl said Tuesday that he had not been told the length of his penalty, only that he would learn his fate today. Jones, now the boys' basketball coach at Alcoa High School, heard the same from his attorney.

"I don't know what the penalties will be," Jones said, "but if it's true that we will receive a show-cause penalty for not being forthcoming, that's disappointing in light of the instructions we were given by the UT legal counsel."

Forbes is now the coach at Northwest Florida State College, a junior college, and Shay is one of his assistants.

Pearl said he's still mulling over a head-coaching offer from the Texas Legends of the NBA Development League that's reportedly worth $500,000 a year.

"I am still in the decision-making process on that," Pearl said.

The "bump" violation committed by Pearl and Jones days after it was learned UT had received its Notice of Inquiry from the NCAA was not considered a major violation, according to sources.

Pearl and his assistants, though, are just the latest coaches accused of violating the NCAA's "principles of honesty" to receive show-cause penalties.

All four coaches were accused of providing misleading information and failing to protect the integrity of the investigation during their initial interviews with NCAA investigators regarding a photograph of Pearl and then-high school junior Aaron Craft taken inside Pearl's home.

All four coaches initially denied knowing the setting of the photograph. Immediately afterward, Pearl was overwhelmed with regret and requested a follow-up interview, where he admitted to "panicking" about the photograph and confessed to impermissibly hosting unofficial visitors at his home.

Kiffin, along with the various recruiting violations that were lumped into one all-encompassing major violation, had faced a charge of failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance within the football program and failing to monitor the activities regarding compliance of several of his assistant coaches.

Before the June hearing, UT self-imposed two years of probation for the entire athletic department, along with various recruiting restrictions in both the men's basketball and football programs.

Also taken into consideration were the hefty salary reductions UT self-imposed on Pearl and his assistants last September, Pearl's eight-game suspension from SEC Commissioner Mike Slive and, ultimately, the decision to fire Pearl and his assistants after the 2010-11 season.

The fallout from the investigation, both from a financial and reputation standpoint, has hit the athletic department hard.

Pearl and former athletic director Mike Hamilton, who resigned in June, will eventually collect more than $2 million in buyout money from UT. Legal fees paid to the firm Bond, Schoeneck and King were at $317,178.06 as of last week.

The search to replace Hamilton remains ongoing, and the university has already paid at least $90,000 to Parker Executive Search to aid with the process.

Recently, new head football coach Derek Dooley said he and his assistants' recruiting efforts were hindered by the looming investigation.

The men's basketball program also faces significant hurdles under new coach Cuonzo Martin, but its future now appears rosier in the wake of Tuesday's rulings, as it escaped scholarship losses, further recruiting restrictions and a postseason ban.

"As long as there's no postseason ban, we'll be OK," Martin said at a May Big Orange Tipoff Club luncheon. "We can weather the storm.''

Mike Griffith contributed to this report. Follow Andrew Gribble at http://twitter.com/Andrew_Gribble and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/gribble

Get Copyright Permissions © 2011, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2011 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 103

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor say finally its over....whew.
Bones never lie.

TNVOLNTX writes:

Great news! The black cloud is finally gone and bright days ahead.

ALLVOL37849 writes:

Hope it's true! GO VOLS!

Huttdawg100 writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say finally its over....whew.
Bones never lie.

Yeah... I said the same thing. I want to celebrate, but the news of Coach Summitt definitely saddens things. I really feel bad for Pearl too.

Tennball writes:

"The multiple sources requested anonymity because the NCAA is set to announce the findings from June's Committee on Infractions hearing Wednesday."
Then keep your mouth shut for one more day! It isn't over until it is official.

tennrich1 writes:

If this is true....LETS PUT OUR HEADS DOWN AND RUN, RUN LIKE THE WIN....and for all who told me UT sold out the basketball program and would let it take the full brunt of the penalties to protect the football program....well, I guess if this materializes that absurd notion will be put to bed....

Kelly8 writes:

Great news for Cuonzo and his staff. They will get a real chance to have this straightened out in a few years without scholarship reductions, etc. GBO!

tennrich1 writes:

in response to tennrich1:

If this is true....LETS PUT OUR HEADS DOWN AND RUN, RUN LIKE THE WIN....and for all who told me UT sold out the basketball program and would let it take the full brunt of the penalties to protect the football program....well, I guess if this materializes that absurd notion will be put to bed....

That slip should have said WIND....BUT in retrospect maybe my subconscious mind knew what I was a-thank-in!!!

volfan#207874 writes:

Would someone please tell me just what a "show cause" penalty would be? I guess that I am just an 80 year old hillbilly that does not understand a lot of what is happening in the way of sanctions and penalties concerning UT athletics. If this is indeed good news (as will be reported tomorrow?) it does not leave us all with elated hearts due to the diagnosis received by Coach Pat Summit. She is one "tuff" lady and if anyone can beat dementia and altzeheimers it is that fine lady. You go Pat...you da best!

MOOREVOLS writes:

Thank goodness. Hopefully this is true and we can finally get back to some normalcy.

tomnncvol writes:

in response to volfan#207874:

Would someone please tell me just what a "show cause" penalty would be? I guess that I am just an 80 year old hillbilly that does not understand a lot of what is happening in the way of sanctions and penalties concerning UT athletics. If this is indeed good news (as will be reported tomorrow?) it does not leave us all with elated hearts due to the diagnosis received by Coach Pat Summit. She is one "tuff" lady and if anyone can beat dementia and altzeheimers it is that fine lady. You go Pat...you da best!

I'm a hillbilly transplanted to NC so I didn't know about "show cause" either. According to
ESPN:

A show-cause penalty means a school wanting to hire a coach serving that penalty must appear before the NCAA committee on infractions to explain why it wants to do so.

If the school chooses to go ahead with the hire, it would have to agree to any possible additional penalties the committee might want to levy.

Ga_Dave writes:

I'm very relieved but sorry they didn't give the Coach-who-shall-remain-nameless something in the way of a penalty. Let's all get behind Pat and set attendance records this season at home and away. I, for one will be at the Auburn and GA games as well as some in K'town. We love you Pat! GBO & GLV

Tru138 writes:

So much for all those pseudo intelligent insiders (trolls) who predicted the demise of both programs due to pending sanctions.

Vol43 writes:

in response to FrenchQuarterVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Kinda sounds like it to me. Sounds like Kiffy gets off the hook. We just need to keep our noses clean. Man, I was sweating it.

nocleats writes:

Teflon!

Voluvr writes:

Heavy day on the hill. Pray for a miracle for Pat.

Packer_Park_Orange (Inactive) writes:

Ater 3 years of failure with "Mr. Two Star" Martin maybe we can get CBP to take the job back.

JSamson7 writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

JOKEMO speaks...

Lose your poor & unoriginal imitation of Witch Doctor or please lose yourself from this board.

JOKEMO has spoken

GerryOP writes:

Note carefully: no ADDITIONAL sanctions. Two years probation plus some recruiting sanctions plus FIRING a head coach and athletic director are NOT minor sanctions. Wonder what the price would have been if UT had not put Hamilton and Pearl on the bus?

It's over ... move along now, nothing to see here.

TopTenn writes:

A good and bad day.

tdvol1989 writes:

Let's just get that pot stirred. Things are looking up for Dooley and there is good press for Coach Martin. So, if we really do get off easy, let's just hire Mike Hamilton back. He obviously made up for his mistake by selecting good coaches and he took the bullet for us.

Mr_Brownstone writes:

mr finebaum just crapped his britches. stench is also coming from css, Volzfan, and that lame-o "fight on" dude.

THE STONE SAYS

nepperso#220348 writes:

No television ban. No post season ban. No scholarship reductions. No official probation. No recruiting restrictions. NO PROBLEM!!! GO BIG ORANGE! ALL YOU HATERS CAN EAT IT!!!

Tennball writes:

in response to C:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Not sure if your post related to mine or not but my point was people that have information that is NOT to be released for another day should refrain from telling the press. It is not right for the coaches to learn their fate from the news and we all pray for Pat.
And if the "Bottom Feeder" comment was directed at me, then I would hope my degree from The University of Tennessee moves me up in status on this site. Go Vols!

murrayvol writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say finally its over....whew.
Bones never lie.

Not for Pearl.

volfan#207874 writes:

in response to tomnncvol:

I'm a hillbilly transplanted to NC so I didn't know about "show cause" either. According to
ESPN:

A show-cause penalty means a school wanting to hire a coach serving that penalty must appear before the NCAA committee on infractions to explain why it wants to do so.

If the school chooses to go ahead with the hire, it would have to agree to any possible additional penalties the committee might want to levy.

Thanks Tom in NC. This fully describes the penalty. I had been waiting for someone else to ask the question that I did, but I guess that they are all much more intelligent than yours truly.

murrayvol writes:

in response to C:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No but we'll likely see Frank Haith leaving Columbia on a rail.

DaveVol writes:

I think I'll have a barbeque!

murrayvol writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Touche'

ncvol17 writes:

Hire Bruce as an ESPN analyst. He is the next Dick Vitale. I like Bruce and his bad decision is not a life ender in my opinion. I would love to hear him on pregame shows. Bruce loved the Vols and his horrible decision to lie does not diminish that. Go Bruce GBO...HA HA their spell check changes name to Richard..

VolinCalif writes:

in response to Voluvr:

Heavy day on the hill. Pray for a miracle for Pat.

Volu.
Miracles do happen. In 1997 I was told by a medical client in southern Calif. that I was in the early stage of Alzheimer's. Thing went south in 2000 for my health and I went to UCLA med. They determined that I only had an emz. problem and fixed it.I still do a lot of reading and puzzles each day But I have a pretty good memory. So there is hope for Pat.

Packer_Park_Orange (Inactive) writes:

Good- No sanctions

Now maybe we can get rid of the two mid-major midgets that we pay mid-major money, Dooley and Martin. The very same midgets everyone here justified hiring because we supposedly couldn't get anybody else, because of the NCAA.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to TopTenn:

A good and bad day.

That sums it up perfectly!!

Smokey is glad this is over and ready for some football..

OwensboroVol writes:

The penalty for Bruce Pearl is totally out of line for his sins. Look at whats going on at Ohio State and Miami. Anyone want to bet that Tressel will get less of a penalty than Bruce? The NCAA makes me sick. They are putting themselves out of business and they are too stupid to see it.

allvol32 writes:

in response to C:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You're repeating yourself...at least try to come up with something original if you want to be a troll.

"The U" (I've always thought that this ubber pretentious name was very amusing...) is in a world of hurt - if you are a Miami fan then I don't think that I'd be crowing about Bruce Pearl but then again I'm not a troll and I have no clue what motivates you trolls to post the things that you do in what appears to be weak anonymous attempts to bolster your confidence and self esteem.

Please gather up your troll buddies and head on down to the Dr. Phil or Oprah show and let the rest of us have adult conversations.

ncvol17 writes:

in response to PatientlyWaiting:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Respectfully disagree..he may have thought he was Zeus.. but one fairy tale is as good as the next.

vol98champ writes:

Half of the people on this circus board should have their crayons taken away. Pat liked Bruce. That is enough for me. Must be great to have never told a lie or given a BBQ to what are thought to be friends. Unlike some of you, I have sinned in my life. Bruce was great for UT and Pat is the greatest ever. Please God help her!!!!

born2ride writes:

Pearl deserves a 3 year ban for lying. No school should ever him again.

We are lucky the NCAA did not hammer us. They accepted those minor actions we self imposed on ourselves.

Another SEC school case closed. It is time to investigate John Calipari at Kentucky.

Huttdawg100 writes:

in response to volfan#207874:

Would someone please tell me just what a "show cause" penalty would be? I guess that I am just an 80 year old hillbilly that does not understand a lot of what is happening in the way of sanctions and penalties concerning UT athletics. If this is indeed good news (as will be reported tomorrow?) it does not leave us all with elated hearts due to the diagnosis received by Coach Pat Summit. She is one "tuff" lady and if anyone can beat dementia and altzeheimers it is that fine lady. You go Pat...you da best!

Essentially, it is a ban from coaching in college for a period of time. If a school wants to hire Pearl during the ban, they have to go before the NCAA infractions committee, and present reasons as to why Pearl is the coach they selected. I think that school can receive sanctions if they hire Pearl before the ban is up.

chattavfl86 writes:

This is probably the absolute best case scenario for ut. Pearl will take the job with the d league and focus on the xs and os of the game, which he has stated he would like to do. I have a sneaking suspicion that this is setting up for the ncaa to be a little more lenient on tOSU. The harder they would hit us would be the harder they would have to hit them. Still, good news. Let's get our ad now.

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to Tweetdriver63:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Tressel is done. I would suspect he gets a 5 year show cause

shipperman#280095 writes:

For those who thing UT would hire Pearl after the show cause order is over that would be the dumbest thing we ever did.

The_Ghost_of_Duke_DeLuca writes:

Senseless violation. Sad story. Sad for Coach Pearl and his assistants, sad for the basketball program, sad for the fans.

If we take anything away from this, let's take away the knowledge that integrity counts in life.

keviningeorgia writes:

in response to PatientlyWaiting:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Blahhh blahh bablahh blahh UT bad, Dooley bad, Pearl bad, blahhhh blah. Blahhh bablahh, Fulmer, blahhh UT bad blahhh blahhhhhhh….

keviningeorgia writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'll have what he's havin...

Take_Back_Knoxville writes:

Glad this is coming now instead of 2 months later. Now we can focus on success. As far as Pat goes, she will be fine. Her inner strength is tremendous.

Take_Back_Knoxville writes:

in response to simmsagain:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You left out LSU. Oh, no, wait...

CoverOrange writes:

in response to PatientlyWaiting:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Your second sentence proves you haven't a clue of what's going on inside. The losses mounted BECAUSE everyone on the team knew he was going to be fired. And someone in the University wanted him out before the NCAA came calling. There is way more to this story and Hamilton was a pawn.

Zippy_Longstocking writes:

in response to PatientlyWaiting:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

So, the compliance staff hosted the infamous BBQ and then lied about it? I don't think so. Without someone telling them about it, how would compliance have ever come across this information? There is only so much you can do from that chair. NCAA had the photo before compliance was ever aware. It is unfortunate, but in most cases, compliance staffs are the last to know and that is by design (on the part of the rule violators - they intentionally hide/do not report these infractions). Tennessee has a fantastic compliance staff and we are extremely fortunate to have them. They are extremely passionate about their work and have lost much sleep during this entire process. It is the result of their efforts that this is not much, much worse, make no mistake about it.

Chartervol writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Majestic . . . from downtown!

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features