Auburn Head Coach Bruce Pearl Hit With NCAA Suspension

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    Current Auburn basketball head coach and former Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl has been hit with a suspension by the NCAA on Friday. The suspension is just one of the consequences that were handed down to the SEC school by the NCAA.

    Pearl will serve a two-game suspension effective immediately.

    There are three main consequences that were given to Auburn by the NCAA in addition to Pearl’s two-game suspension. The Auburn basketball program will be hit with four years of probation from 2021-2025 and will receive a 5,000 dollar fine. In addition, the program will be forced to reduce the total number of scholarships by two for the duration of the time under probation.

    According to CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein on Twitter, “there is no additional postseason ban.”

    However, former associate head coach Chuck Person, who is at the center of the bribe scandal, has been hit with a 10-year show-cause penalty. The show-cause penalty is attached to a coach so that simply moving to a new school cannot erase their previous actions.

    Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl has released a statement following the news from the NCAA.

    Bruce Pearl

    Auburn basketball head coach Bruce Pearl.

    “I’m appreciative of Auburn University, our leadership, the AU family and our current and former student athletes as we navigated through the challenges of the last four years,” Pearl said in a statement released by Auburn. “We respect the NCAA peer evaluation process and appreciate the panel recognized we took meaningful and contemporaneous penalties. It is time to put this behind us. As part of our penalty, I will begin my two-game suspension tomorrow (Saturday) against Nebraska.”

    Auburn did take measures to ease the consequences in the form of self-imposed sanctions. The self-imposed postseason ban in 2021-2021, the reduction of a scholarship last year, and a ban on various recruiting activities in 2017-2018 were factored into the NCAA’s decision, according to The Auburn Observer’s Justin Ferguson.

    “At the heart of the case is former Tigers assistant Chuck Person receiving bribes in exchange for his influence on players signing with certain financial advisors,” according to CBS Sports.

    “We are pleased that a conclusion has been reached in this case,” Auburn University said in a statement on Friday. “For the last four years, Auburn has been proactive and cooperative with the NCAA enforcement staff and Committee on Infractions. We have been and will continue to be committed to NCAA rules compliance. As such, we accept all penalties and are ready to move forward.”

    Ric Butler is a Knoxville based sports media personality who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since 2017. Most recently, he served as the lead writer for the website of a local radio station. Ric also helped create and host a daily radio show called “The Blitz." Ric’s passion for sports, smooth vocal, and infectious personality have made him popular with both his peers and Vol Nation. Originally from Dallas, Ric didn’t grow up riding horses to school. But he did dream of the big city lights. When not chasing down the latest Tennessee story, Ric can be found watching the WWE, often attempting their moves in an embarrassing fashion.