Auburn waited until Tuesday afternoon to make the decision, but it will be bringing two players with head coach Bruce Pearl to SEC Men’s Basketball Media Day in Nashville on Wednesday.
Junior guard Bryce Brown and forward Horace Spencer will represent the Tigers at the annual media gathering at the Omni Hotel. Auburn is schedule to have its turn in front of the microphone between 4 and 6 p.m. CT.
It will mark the first time since before Auburn’s trip to Italy in August that the team has made players available to reporters. That stems from the arrest of associate head coach Chuck Person, who was charged with six counts of federal corruption on Sept. 26 as a result of a joint investigation conducted by the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office
Person remains suspended from the team indefinitely without pay. He appeared in front of the Southern District of New York on Oct. 10 and was released on $100,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is set for Nov. 9.
The FBI complaint referenced two players whose mothers allegedly received a combined $18,500 from Person, but the names of those players have not been made public. The program is currently undergoing an internal review being conducted by the Birmingham law firm of Lightfoot, Franklin & White.
“What I’m going to try to do with them is have them stick to the basketball stuff,” Pearl said Tuesday. “It’s something that we’ve not made the players available yet. We just don’t want them talking about it.”
Brown and Spencer ranked seventh and ninth on the team in scoring last season averaging 7.5 and 4.8 points, respectively. Both missed time early in the season due to a suspension, and Spencer was limited to only 19 games due to a season-ending shoulder injury that required surgery.
They are two of the team’s elder statesmen, though. Last year’s leading scorers Mustapha Heron, Danjel Purifoy, Jared Harper and Austin Wile, are all sophomores. Brown and Spencer are the only scholarship players on the roster who are going into their third year playing for the program.
Senior T.J. Dunans and junior TJ Lang represented Auburn last year. Jazmine Jones and Janiah McKay will join coach Terri Williams-Flournoy in representing the Auburn women’s basketball team on Thursday.
Pearl said he would like the focus of Wednesday’s media appearance to be on Auburn’s basketball team, but understands that both he and his players will face questions and scrutiny from the media because of what happened with Person.
“I will comment on what I can comment on. Because this is ongoing, I’m just limited,” Pearl said. “So they can ask me, for 20 minutes, they can ask me the same thing. Basically, I’m going to try to talk about my basketball team, and the few things that I’m able to say, I’ll say once again. But there’s just so much stuff we don’t know.”