Auburn vs. Virginia - NCAA Tournament, Final Four

Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl directs his team during the first half against Virginia in the semifinals of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament, Saturday, April 6, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

The Auburn men’s basketball program self-imposed recruiting restrictions from the fall of 2017 to April of 2018, which limited unofficial visits, official visits, contacts, evaluations and phone calls, while Austin Wiley and Danjel Purifoy sat out the same year, all in the wake of the scandal engulfing the program and leading to the criminal conviction of former assistant coach Chuck Person.

These self-imposed recruiting restrictions were not made public until Wednesday. Auburn athletics confirmed the restrictions first reported by AL.com, saying the program took a “proactive approach” during that time while under NCAA investigation.

Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl mentioned that the program had been held under unreported restrictions back in late July during a podcast interview with CBS Sports and Sports Illustrated reporter Jon Rothstein.

Then, he said he anticipates that his program is not done with NCAA sanctions just yet, but that he feels the worst is behind the program.

In a victim impact statement filed in federal court during the proceedings leading up to Person’s sentencing, an Auburn University letter claimed the program expects to receive a notice of allegations from the NCAA in the coming months after Person’s crimes.

Person plead guilty earlier in July to a bribery conspiracy charge in federal court.

Wiley and Purifoy both sat out the 2017-18 season as part of restrictions laid down when allegations surfaced accusing Person of accepting thousands of dollars in bribes to steer those two potential NBA talents to a financial adviser. Purifoy also sat out the first nine games of the 2018-19 season.

“We took some real strong penalties, a lot of which have never been made public and at some point will be,” Pearl said, back on Rothstein’s College Hoops Today podcast posted July 29. “When our players’ eligibility was in question, we sat them until we could get their eligibility cleared.

“That was not the way everybody did it but that was the way we felt like we should do it, and hopefully many of those decisions will serve us well as we navigate this future.”

Clearly, Auburn hopes its self-imposed restrictions help satisfy the NCAA when the organization considers further sanctions.

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