Auburn University has opted not to appeal any restrictions on Bruce Pearl’s three-year show-cause penalty, which expires Aug. 23.
Upon his hiring as its next head men’s basketball coach March 18, the university was required to submit a formal letter to the NCAA Committee on Infractions detailing its intention and reasoning for hiring him within 30 days.
Auburn’s athletic department released a statement Tuesday detailing its decision not to oppose the remaining four months of Pearl’s three-year show-cause penalty stemming from the NCAA’s initial “failure to monitor the program” charge on Aug. 23, 2011 after it was determined he “knowingly committed” a rules violation while the head coach at Tennessee and then misled investigators during a subsequent NCAA investigation into a picture detailing impermissible contact with a recruit during a cookout at Pearl’s residence in 2008.
"I felt strongly that not appealing the show-cause order was the right thing to do, and Coach Pearl wholeheartedly agreed we should not contest it," Jacobs said in a statement. "When I decided to hire Coach Pearl, I was well aware of these restrictions and their ramifications. Coach Pearl and I both respect the process and we will fully honor the show-cause until it expires in August."
Per the original show-cause restrictions, Pearl is unable to have direct contact with recruits on or off campus until Aug. 24, though his assistants are free to spread his message to recruits.
"When I received my show-cause penalty from the NCAA in August 2011, I chose then not to appeal as it would lessen my position of accountability," Pearl said in a statement. "Auburn University, the SEC and the NCAA have given me an opportunity to return to coaching before my show-cause ends and I am grateful. I have confidence in our coaching staff’s ability to present Auburn University and its men’s basketball program until my show-cause ends August 24, 2014."
So far, the restrictions haven’t impeded Pearl’s staff from pulling in recruits, with power forward Cinmeon Bowers — rated the No. 1 junior college player in this class — committing to the Tigers on April 13.
SEC commissioner Mike Slive suspended Pearl for eight games during the 2010-11 season before the NCAA levied the show-cause penalty on Pearl, who was fired by Tennessee at the end of that season.
Slive said Monday he has had conversations with Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs regarding the athletic department's intentions.
“I’ve talked to Jay about it, my understanding is they’re not doing anything about it,” Slive said regarding a possible appeal.
Alex is the Auburn University Sports Writer for the Opelika-Auburn News.
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