Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bruce Pearl LOVES High Schoolers

A day after the NCAA notified UCONN of their penalties for making about 12,978 illegal phone calls to recruits, they also told Tennessee that the hammer is coming down on them as well. (Actually, I would describe Jim Calhoun's three-game suspension as "an accidental grazing of the wrist"). It is not known yet what the penalties will be, but here are the allegations against the basketball program (straight off UT's athletic site):

  • Impermissible contact with prospective student-athletes resulting from a cumulative total of 96 impermissible phone calls over a 24-month period (Aug. 1, 2007 through July 29, 2009).
  • By the head men's basketball coach: impermissible contact with prospective student-athletes during an unofficial visit, acting contrary to the principles of ethical conduct, failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance, and failure to monitor the activities regarding compliance of all assistant coaches within the men's basketball program.
  • By the head men's basketball coach and associate head coach: impermissible contact with a prospective student-athlete at his high school.
  • By the three members of the men's basketball assistant coaching staff: failure to furnish full and complete information relevant to the investigation.
We all know about the "barbecue", where Pearl illegally hosted a few recruits. But what was also interesting is that one of the players involved was 2012 UGA prospect, Jordan Adams. Apparently, Pearl and assistant coach Tony Jones were cited for "bumping" Adams before one of his practices (basically this is like being in a bar and "randomly" positioning yourself right beside a hot girl and saying, "Whao, didn't see you there...hey...what's up?")

Anyway, along with Pearl, three assistant coaches were cited for various offenses. What I haven't mentioned is that the football team was also cited (yes, during the short-lived Kiffin era), but it was only for illegal contact during a "dead period" so I doubt the punishment will be too bad. Said in a much nastier way, Kiffin didn't crap all over the floor and bolt, but he did "top-deck" Tennessee's toilet....okay than was very unnecessary but you get the point.

I think what really chapped the NCAA was the "failure to furnish information during the investigation" part. We'll find out how pissed they really are when the punishment is handed down when Tennessee appears before the "Committee on Infractions" on June 10-11...Pearl's fate might be decided before that.

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