Less than 24 hours after news broke that Tennessee Volunteers women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, the Associated Press is reporting former Vols men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl was hit with a multiyear penalty from the NCAA for multiple major recruiting violations.
People familiar with the situation told the AP Pearl was given a multiyear show-cause penalty but that Tennessee will not receive further sanctions beyond those they self-imposed last year following charges of 12 major violations. Three Volunteers assistants were also handed one-year show-cause penalties.
Pearl and current USC football coach Lane Kiffin had been under investigation by the NCAA for nearly two years before punishment was first handed down last February. Kiffin, as often seems to be the case, appears to have escaped penalties once again.
In September, Pearl admitted to lying to NCAA investigators about hosting a cookout attended by recruits.
Tennessee fired Pearl in March following the conclusion of a season in which the coach was suspended for the first eight Southeastern Athletic Conference games on the Vols’ schedule and saw his salary slashed and recruiting privileges severely diminished.
The university self-imposed a two-year probation that included recruiting restrictions for both the basketball and football programs. Pearl is currently mulling an offer to coach the Texas Legends of the NBA’s D-League.
To round out a busy day of Knoxville news, ESPN.com’s Chris Low reported head coach Derek Dooley has dismissed junior safety Janzen Jackson from the Volunteers football team. One of the team’s top defenders, Jackson has battled substance-abuse during his time in college and failed multiple drug tests. He racked up 69 tackles and tied for the team lead with five interceptions in 2010.