Tennessee's secondary violations:
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.
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.''