Sources: Bruce Pearl to get penalty

Updated: August 25, 2011, 10:04 PM ET
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

Former Tennessee men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl will receive a multiple-year show-cause penalty from the NCAA's committee on infractions, multiple sources with knowledge of the NCAA's report told ESPN.com Tuesday.

A source said that Pearl's camp expects a three-year penalty.

Pearl's three former assistants -- Tony Jones, Steve Forbes and Jason Shay -- will receive one-year show-cause penalties, the sources said.

A show-cause penalty means a school wanting to hire a coach serving that penalty must appear before the NCAA committee on infractions to explain why it wants to do so.

The NCAA had called to alert the respective parties that the report would be coming out Wednesday and, according to a source, the Tennessee university administration had seen the report by Tuesday afternoon.

Sources told ESPN.com's Chris Low that Tennessee will receive no additional penalties in football or basketball other than what was self-reported for the institution. Prior to appearing before the committee on infractions in June, the school had self-imposed two years of probation, including self-imposed penalties for both football and men's basketball. In addition, the sources said, two major violations that the football program was originally facing were found to be secondary and former coach Lane Kiffin will not face any further sanctions.

A show-cause penalty means a school wanting to hire a coach serving that penalty must appear before the NCAA committee on infractions to explain why it wants to do so.

If the school chooses to go ahead with the hire, it would have to agree to any possible additional penalties the committee might want to levy.

Traditionally, schools have stayed away from a coach on a show-cause penalty. But the NCAA has no jurisdiction to force a member school to hire or fire a coach.

Pearl was charged by the NCAA with unethical conduct after he acknowledged covering up who was at a cookout at his house, including Aaron Craft, then a high school junior and now playing at Ohio State.

Pearl was given multiple sanctions by the school and the SEC, including docking $1.5 million of his salary, a one-year off-campus recruiting ban, and a coaching ban of eight SEC games.

Pearl was cited in the report for a recruiting contact at Oak Hill Academy (Va.) shortly after the self-imposed sanctions and before the one-year recruiting ban began. But the source said that incident was not deemed a major violation in the report.

Pearl and the assistants went in front of the committee on infractions June 11.

Pearl was fired by Tennessee on March 21, shortly after the Volunteers lost in their first game of the NCAA tournament. He is currently weighing whether to accept a head coaching position with the Texas Legends of the D-League and said earlier Tuesday -- before news of the impending NCAA report came out -- that he was close to making a decision.

"(Dallas Mavericks general manager) Donnie Nelson has been just tremendous and provided me with the opportunity," Pearl said earlier Tuesday. "I've always seen myself as a college coach, because it is developing young players and I can see making that transition. The hardest thing for me right now, however, is that I would have to leave my children here in Knoxville. And that's the hardest thing about taking the opportunity."

Jones is currently a high school coach in Tennessee. Forbes is the men's basketball coach at Northwest Florida State College, and Shay is his assistant.

Andy Katz is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

ALSO SEE