NASHVILLE — The University of Tennessee could receive a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA as early as Wednesday, the News Sentinel has learned.
Two sources in the UT athletic department, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the case is ongoing, said Tuesday night the university has been notified that the letter of allegations will arrive this week.
The letter will serve notice of the NCAA enforcement staff’s investigation into the men’s basketball, football and baseball programs, outlining purported major violations.
UT will have 90 days to respond to the letter in writing.
From there, the case will go before the NCAA committee on infractions.
“We’ve been pretty consistent that when we get a final document we’ll release it as quickly as possible,” UT athletic director Mike Hamilton said in a text message Tuesday night. “(That’s) still the case.’’
Hamilton has said in recent interviews that UT’s appearance before the committee on infractions could come in June or August.
Based on NCAA case precedent, it appears the men’s basketball team will be placed on probation and could lose one or more scholarships in addition to the severe, unprecedented self-imposed penalties they are already serving.
Hamilton has also said there’s a possibility UT could appeal whatever penalties the NCAA doles out.
Hamilton said it’s UT intention to keep men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl on staff even if the NCAA imposes a one-year suspension.
Hamilton said when the Vols received their letter of inquiry on Sept. 10 that he expected Pearl to be charged with unethical conduct.
“It’s our intention to keep him,’’ Hamilton said on Feb. 16. “Unless there’s something (severe violation) out there we’re unaware of.’’
UT’s self-imposed sanctions on Pearl included terminating his contract and having him work under a Letter of Appointment, in addition to stripping him of $1.5 million in salary over the next five years and banning him from off-campus recruiting for a year.
In November, SEC commissioner Mike Slive took action against Pearl with an eight-game league suspension that Pearl completed earlier this month.
FoxSports.com reported Tuesday night that its sources said UT’s assistant basketball coaches — who have had their salaries reduced by 25 percent and dealt with recruiting suspensions — will not be charged with unethical conduct.
According to the report, they will be charged with “not upholding high standards of sportsmanship.”
Based on UT’s NCAA-related documentation received through public records requests, the News Sentinel reported in November that the men’s basketball team will face multiple major violations.
* Pearl knowingly committed a violation by bringing recruits to his home on Sept. 20, 2008. By NCAA interpretation, any violation can be considered major if a coach/administrator knowingly commits it.
* Pearl faces an unethical conduct violation for misleading investigators in a June 14 interview concerning a photo taken of him and a recruit on Sept. 20, 2008. He also falsely certified in writing (on Sept. 8, 2009) that he had properly reported any previous violations to the appropriate UT compliance administration.
* UT submitted 97 impermissible phone calls over the course of four different self-reports. The NCAA often groups multiple violations of impermissible calls/contact into one major violation, as was the case in the recently concluded investigation with Chattanooga. This could fall under “failure to create an atmosphere of compliance,’’ in NCAA lingo.
* By talking with his assistants and the father of a recruit involved in the investigation before and/or after his June 14 interview, Pearl failed to protect the integrity of the NCAA investigation, as suggested in a Sept. 9 notification letter.