Bruce Pearl Reportedly not Cooperating in Auburn’s Internal Investigation

Associated Press

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) Auburn men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl says he can’t comment on a report that states he hasn’t been cooperating with the school’s internal investigation into the program.

ESPN reported Wednesday that university officials have told Pearl he could lose his job if he doesn’t cooperate.

Auburn hired Birmingham law firm Lightfoot, Franklin and White to review the program after former associate head coach Chuck Person’s September arrest in a national federal investigation of corruption in college basketball. Auburn said Wednesday it has fired Person, who was indicted on Tuesday.

University spokesman Brian Keeter said the school can’t comment because of an ongoing investigation. Pearl told reporters essentially the same thing after practice Wednesday, adding that Auburn is working to get the players eligible.

“This is an ongoing investigation, and everybody is working to try to get our players certified and eligible,” Pearl said. “And you guys know, from the very beginning, I’m not allowed to comment on the process. But we are definitely working through this.”

Asked directly about his job security, Pearl said “I am not concerned… I am no more concerned than anybody else. We’ve got to get through this investigation, and I’m just looking forward to Friday night.”

The ESPN report stated that Pearl hasn’t talked to the attorneys and that since the FBI has seized his computers and cellphones, so the law firm couldn’t determine if Pearl was involved in any NCAA violations.

Pearl was under an NCAA show cause penalty when Auburn hired him in 2014 for violations committed when he was at Tennessee. He was fired in 2011 for lying to NCAA investigators about a cookout he held for recruits.

This was expected to be his best season at Auburn on the court largely because of the return of players like Wiley, Purifoy and Mustapha Heron.

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