AU Won't Ask For Relief On Pearl's Sanctions

Auburn men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl will have to wait until late summer to be involved in recruiting.

Auburn, Ala.--Athletic Director Jay Jacobs and new Auburn head men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl announced on Tuesday that neither Pearl nor the university will appeal the coach's show-cause NCAA sanctions from his time as coach of the Tennessee Vols.

When Pearl was hired on March 16th Jacobs mentioned that the university was looking into seeking relief from sanctions inherited when Auburn hired Pearl. Because of an NCAA probation when he was coaching in Knoxville, Pearl is not allowed to have any contact or communication with recruits until the sanctions end on August 24th.

"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. "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."

Pearl, who replaced Tony Barbee as head coach of the Tigers, has a reputation for being able to quickly turn around basketball programs, something he did at Southern Indiana, Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Tennessee. However, the show-cause sanctions are making the process more difficult in the opening months of his time at Auburn.

"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. "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," said Pearl.

The coach's long-time assistant, Tony Jones, is leading the recruiting effort along with former Auburn star Chuck Person. Pearl's son Steven has also been handling recruiting, but that assignment is expected to be handled by Harris Adler, who AU is expected to announce as the newest member of the basketball coaching staff sometime this week. Adler has been an assistant at LaSalle University for the past 10 years.

Bruce Pearl

Pearl told Inside the Auburn Tigers that it has been difficult for him not being able to recruit under the current circumstances or even communicate with recruits or their coaches.

"I have got to make decisions about players, yet I can't reach out and do the evaluations myself or inquire about the evaluations," he said, noting that one of the parts of his job he enjoys best is being on the road and checking out which prospects would be good fits for his team and its aggressive style of play.

Pearl has managed to stay very busy since arriving in Auburn. He has spent an extensive amount of time promoting AU hoops in the local area in addition to directing the offseason workouts for members of the 2014-15 team.

Auburn signed Pearl to a six-year deal with a base salary of $2.2 million per year. Jacobs said the hiring of a coach who is a proven winner at the SEC level is a sign the Tigers are very serious about having success in the sport. "We raised the bar for men's basketball, I can tell you that," Jacobs said.

In Pearl's 19 seasons as a college head coach he has never had a losing record and his teams have an overall record of 462-145 for a .761 winning percentage. In his previous coaching job at Tennessee the Vols averaged 25.2 wins per year in his six seasons in charge of that program. His UT teams reached the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 four times and in 2010 advanced to the Elite Eight.

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