Tennessee Men’s Basketball coach Bruce Pearl recently received a lowered salary from the University of Tennessee. For the next year, Pearl can only recruit from on-campus and his number of phone-calls to recruits has been limited. Bruce Pearl also has been suspended for the first eight games of the 2010 Southeastern Conference (SEC); all of these punishments were handed down for numerous reasons.
Coach Bruce Pearl and his staff made calls far in excess of the number of phone-calls that the NCAA permits to take place. The staff contacted recruits 44 more times than allowed under NCAA rule. 39 calls were made by Associate Head Coach Tony Jones and 5 by Bruce Pearl. This recruiting violation was presented to Pearl by the NCAA in connection with excessive contacts with recruits. Tennessee then decided to self impose penalties amongst the basketball program for this situation.
Back in 2008, Bruce Pearl hosted several recruits and their families at his house for a
Barbecue. Pearl told the families while they were at the party, that their visit to the household was an NCAA violation. Pearl also said that he wasn’t going to tell anyone about the violation and asked that the families not either.
Bruce Pearl knowingly brought recruits over to his house even though it was against NCAA rules and the staff plus Bruce Pearl made 44 more calls to recruits than allowed? There has to be a question of ethics brought up in Bruce Pearl’s decision making. If every other coach in college basketball can’t do these things, then what in the world would make Pearl believe it is ok to make these actions? This would be a much different story if he hadn’t of known of his wrong doing, he has made too many mistakes and now it is time for Coach Bruce Pearl to pay the price for his off the court issues.
A picture taken at Pearl’s home during the party was called into question by the NCAA, as it had Pearl, a recruit, and an assistant coach’s wife in the picture. Pearl then lied to the NCAA, denying that this was taken at his house and denying the fact of knowing the people in the picture.
He later told investigators information about the photo and told the truth to investigators about what really happened at the barbecue. Bruce Pearl was stuck in a web of his own lies and the only way to get out was to tell the truth, something that he should have done from the beginning of the whole investigation process.
The University of Tennessee claims that Pearl’s lies weren’t as serious because he eventually told the truth to the NCAA and investigators. Pearl probably wasn’t going to tell the truth until he got caught, as you can tell when Pearl said that he wasn’t going to tell anyone about the violation and asked the families that attended the barbecue not to either.
So Tennessee is saying that Bruce Pearl shouldn’t be treated as harsh as he would’ve been, since he told the truth after lying? Bruce Pearl then proceeded to say this, “I learned that it’s not OK to tell the truth most of the time, but you’ve got to tell the truth all of the time” Is that not what is taught to people at a young age?
Bruce Pearl’s punishments aren’t nearly harsh enough. Cheating and then lying, there is absolutely no place in College basketball for this behavior. Particularly when you are supposed to be a leader and a role model, for your organization, your players, and the community that supports your program.