Archive for Thursday, August 25, 2011

NCAA hits Bruce Pearl with 3-year penalty

August 25, 2011

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— The NCAA said it wanted to send a clear message by slapping Bruce Pearl with a three-year show-cause penalty: Coaches are responsible for their programs.

The sanctions announced Wednesday make it harder for the former Tennessee men’s basketball coach to get another college job anytime soon. Pearl is prohibited from recruiting during the next three years, and a school would have to convince the NCAA to change its mind if it wanted to hire him during that time.

“As these allegations are becoming more and more regular, it’s very clear that a head coach is being held responsible for his program,” said Britton Banowsky, Conference USA commissioner and vice-chair of the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions.

The NCAA said Wednesday it had punished Pearl for lying to investigators about improperly hosting recruits at his home and urging others to do the same. Former Pearl assistants Tony Jones, Jason Shay and Steve Forbes face the same sanctions, except they were only given one-year show-cause penalties for their own roles in misleading the NCAA.

“Those who are not forthcoming and not cooperative and unethical in their responses, the committee takes that very seriously, and they will be punished appropriately,” said Dennis Thomas, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference commissioner and chair of the Committee on Infractions.

Pearl did not immediately respond to a call by The Associated Press seeking comment.

The Committee on Infractions was impressed with the level of cooperation it got from Tennessee during the two-year investigation into recruiting by Pearl’s program and the football program under then-coach Lane Kiffin. It chose not to punish the university beyond its self-imposed sanctions, which include two years of probation beginning Wednesday.

Comments

Bob Forer 3 years, 8 months ago

From Wikipedia:

During the 1988-89 basketball season, Pearl, then an assistant coach at the University of Iowa, was at the center of a recruiting scandal involving the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Both Illinois and Iowa were recruiting Deon Thomas, a top high school player from Chicago. Pearl lost this recruiting battle when Thomas committed to Illinois. Thereafter, Pearl called the high school student and recorded a phone conversation with Thomas. During the conversation, Pearl asked Thomas if he had been offered an SUV and cash by Illinois assistant coach Jimmy Collins, and Thomas seemed to indicate that he had. Pearl then turned over copies of the tapes to the NCAA, accompanied by a memo describing the events. During the subsequent NCAA investigation, Thomas denied the allegations and said the story was false, that he was agreeing with Pearl only to try to get rid of him. Thomas later passed a polygraph test in which he denied Pearl's accusation of Illinois offering cash and a car. The NCAA did not find Illinois guilty of any wrongdoing relating to Thomas' recruitment, finding that the purported evidence provided was not "credible, persuasive and of a kind on which reasonably prudent persons rely in the conduct of serious affairs."[4] However, since the investigation uncovered other violations, including Illinois' third major violation in six years, the NCAA cited Illinois with a "lack of institutional control" charge and implemented several recruiting restrictions and a one-year post-season ban. The event led to a "blackballing" of Pearl by many coaches in D–I, and even led ESPN commentator Dick Vitale to call Pearl's actions "career suicide" during a telecast.

Sorry Bruce, but if you expect others to follow the rules, you should be expected to do the same.

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