Former Tennessee men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl will receive a multiple-year show-cause penalty from the NCAA's committee on infractions, and his three former assistants -- Tony Jones, Steve Forbes and Jason Shay -- will receive one-year show-cause penalties, multiple sources with knowledge of the report told ESPN.com Tuesday.
When Pearl lied to NCAA investigators last year, it was commonly assumed that his punishment would be some form of the show-cause penalty. The precedent had been set, and Pearl's actions -- telling the NCAA he didn't recognize a photo of his own house before eventually correcting the record -- were consistent with that precedent. Since then, the coach has entertained offers from NBA Development League teams and discussed the possibility of taking on a TV role. In other words, however long the show-cause lasts, this comes as a surprise to no one.
That said, it doesn't tell us much of anything about what the committee on infractions will do about Tennessee itself. For the Volunteers, the best-case scenario is the hope that the NCAA's harsh penalties toward Pearl and his staff are indicative of the committee's belief that much of the fault lies with that staff and not the school's athletic department or compliance apparatus.
And worst case? The NCAA sees the show-causes as one part of an all-encompassing correction of a program that allowed its coaches to ignore NCAA rules, adapting only after the NCAA forced its hand. That's when you get into "lack of institutional control" territory, and that's when things can get especially ugly.
But I won't make any predictions. We'll know soon enough. For now, UT fans, you may commence whatever superstitious ritual you think can help your team's cause. Bite your nails, arrange your memorabilia just so and be sure to iron your lucky shirt.
At the very least, you now know when you'll know: tomorrow.