NCAA’s investigation of Tennessee went through Atlanta

Byrnes High stars Brandon Willis and Corey Miller are photographed with Tennessee recruiting hostesses Dahra Johnson and Lacey Pearl Earps after a game in Duncan, S.C., in the fall of 2009. (Photo by SI.com's Andy Staples reprinted with permission)

Byrnes High stars Brandon Willis and Corey Miller are photographed with Tennessee recruiting hostesses Dahra Johnson and Lacey Pearl Earps after a game in Duncan, S.C., in the fall of 2009. (Photo by SI.com's Andy Staples reprinted with permission)

The NCAA’s 22-month investigation of the basketball and football programs at Tennessee led enforcement staff through Atlanta, documents released by the school Wednesday revealed.

The NCAA cited the Volunteers for multiple recruiting violations in both sports in a 26-page document released to the media on Wednesday. Within those it is revealed that UT broke rules while recruiting two basketball players from Metro Atlanta: former Dunwoody High and Atlanta Celtics star Chris Singleton and Lawrenceville native and former Central Gwinnett student Jordan Adams. CLICK HERE for a copy of the report, which has been heavily redacted by UT’s legal team.

Singleton received six impermissible phone calls from head basketball coach Bruce Pearl and two assistant coaches in August and September of 2007, the NCAA alleges. Singleton was a five-star prospect with offers from more than a dozen schools, including Georgia and Georgia Tech. He eventually signed with FSU, where he is now a junior and the team’s leading scorer and rebounder.

Adams, now in his second season at Oak Hill Academy prep school in Virginia, received impermissible, in-person, off-campus contact from Pearl and assistant Tony Jones on Sept. 14 of last year, the report says. Adams (6-6, 215) is a four-star prospect in the Class of 2012 who has multiple offers, including Georgia and Georgia Tech.

Pearl is singled out in the report for “failing to conduct himself with high standards of honesty and sportsmanship,” for “providing false and misleading information” to Tennessee and the NCAA enforcement staff and for “attempting to influence others to provide NCAA with false and misleading information concerning their involvement.”

Tennessee also has been a major player in the recruitment of Miller Grove center Tony Parker, a 6-9 center and one of the state’s top recruits for 2012. However, reached after school Wednesday, Parker said he had not been questioned about the Vols’ recruitment of him and was unaware of any rules violations they may have committed during the process.

Former Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin was cited for three specific violations in the NCAA’s report:

  1. Between Jan. 3 and Jan. 9 of last year, he and/or assistant coaches allegedly made 16 “impermissible recruiting telephone calls” to three prospects.
  2. He is alleged to have allowed recruiting intern Steve Rubio to make in-person, off-campus contact during a trip to St. Thomas Aquinas High in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in the fall of 2009.
  3. And he “failed to promote an atmosphere for compliance within the football program and failed to monitor the activities regarding compliance of several assistant football coaches.”

Interestingly,  the use of Tennessee recruiting hostesses to recruit prospects off campus is not mentioned in the public portion of the report. However, many of the details of the report have been redacted by Tennessee legal counsel. And both Byrnes High star Brandon Willis and former assistant coach David Reaves, alleged to have orchestrated sending hostesses Lacy Pearl Earps and Dahra Johnson to Duncan, S.C., are mentioned in the report.

There has been speculation that the allegations may follow Kiffin to USC, where he took over a program last year already unde NCAA sanctions for multiple rules violations. USC athletics director Pat Hayden, in a statement released through the school, defended his coach:

“The NCAA enforcement process provides for Tennessee and Lane to address those charges. Until that process is completed, it would be unfair and premature for me or USC to comment on this matter. However, I will say this: Since his return to USC last year as our head football coach, Lane has been vigilant in making sure he and the football program follow the NCAA’s rules and compete the right way. Lane has my support as our head football coach.”

Kiffin declined comment in the same statement other than to say, “We look forward to working through the process with the NCAA.”

Yes, should be interesting.

161 comments Add your comment

DawginLex

February 23rd, 2011
3:39 pm

Pearl is a dead man walking if UT has a smidgen of integrity.

Of course when you look at the basketball history of the school, you can see why they are desperate to keep him.

Alabamadawg

February 23rd, 2011
3:40 pm

Yea !! But, I don’t have a problem with them sending hostesses’ I thought that was pretty cool…

Paul Garmon

February 23rd, 2011
3:43 pm

Well I guess I’m first again. Tennessee should get the death penelty. I been around football my whole life and I have never seen a program in shambles like this. They were actually trying to recuit my son at one time. I played at Bama and for the Green Bay Packers. I don’t want to call anyone out but this Kiffen cat is really a bad apple. Take it from me, “If you can’t do the time don’t do the crime.”

SEC fan

February 23rd, 2011
3:45 pm

UTk fans are happy with all being laid at the feet of Kiffin and Pearl. However, UTk also has a Compliance Dept and an Athletic Director who also ‘failed to monitor’ their 2 major sports programs. Hamilton and the Compliance people knew what was going on and did nothing to stop it. How in the world can the University say it was just 2 rogue coaches when they have an entire dept. and an AD who are also responsible for monitoring and compliance. I smell yet another UTk whitewash coming. Pick a couple of fall guys and let others who are equally as guilty cruise and remain in charge of athletics at UTk.

RRTDawgs

February 23rd, 2011
3:46 pm

Voles and Auburn going to get hit UNC still under the NCAA Florida could be next .

Southside Dawg

February 23rd, 2011
3:48 pm

My question is why hasnt UT done anything to Pearl. He should have been fired for not telling the truth to UT and the NCAA.

Jon Kontract

February 23rd, 2011
3:50 pm

here kiffy kiffy…

Chuck Dowdle

February 23rd, 2011
3:52 pm

Geeesh, Mike Hamilton is making even Damon Evans look good. Oh well, guess I’ll get back to starching my argile socks. Chuck Dowdle………..whoa.

Flatwoods Dawg

February 23rd, 2011
3:58 pm

Lane Tiffin sure left a mess in them hills. I bet a lot of Vols fans regret running off a coach like Fulmer.

D A DoubleU G

February 23rd, 2011
3:59 pm

This is a prime example why the “fire Mark Richt” talk needs to be silenced.

D A DoubleU G

February 23rd, 2011
4:01 pm

Is the beehive haircut still “in” in Tennessee??

She would be kinda cute if her hair went trying to mimic Marge Simpson.

SmyrnaMan

February 23rd, 2011
4:01 pm

The Compliance dept and AD didnt Fail to Monitor… Read the letter from the NCAA. It says UT Compliance told Kiffin and Co. not to do something and they went ahead and did it anyway. Fire Bruce? In your dreams Butt Sniffers. It was a 2ndary violation that he admitted to. He has been suspended for 8 games and will lose $1.5 Million. The man has paid his debt

SmyrnaMan

February 23rd, 2011
4:02 pm

and please please keep Mark Ritch, PLEASE

Southside Dawg

February 23rd, 2011
4:06 pm

SmyrnaMan the suspended for 8 games and lose 1.5 millon was by the SEC. UT has done nothing to Bruce. He lied and should not keep his job. If a player lies to the NCAA they cannot play for the whole year.

The General Feeling

February 23rd, 2011
4:08 pm

Southside Dawg, stop cleaning yourself and pay attention. UT cut Pearl’s salary by $1.5 million, voided his contract, and restricted him from recruiting off-campus. Those were the self-imposed penalties. The assistants also had salaries cut and recruiting restrictions. The AD has been proactively cooperating with the NCAA.

UT has received the discovery letter, so what else will they need to do to satisfy the NCAA? Fire Pearl?

SmyrnaMan

February 23rd, 2011
4:09 pm

Southside… you are wrong. UT took away 1.5 Million, and suspended him from recruiting outside of UTk for 1 year. The SEC suspended him for 8 games. Get your facts straight

Beast from the East

February 23rd, 2011
4:10 pm

“Voles and Auburn going to get hit UNC still under the NCAA Florida could be next .”

RRTDawgs,
Why bring Florida into this? Wishful thinking? Just enjoy polishing your Fulmer Cup Trophy and leave the commentary to those that can put together a legible sentence.

rduck

February 23rd, 2011
4:12 pm

you gets what you pay for. when you hire an idiot used car salesman like Kiffen, you have dug your own grave. i blame the Tennessee AD…

Beast from the East

February 23rd, 2011
4:13 pm

I think Pearl should be fired. You can’t lie to the NCAA. They took away Dez Bryant’s final year of eligibility for the same thing. I think Pearl has done a great job as the coach of UT, but he cheated, then lied and tried to cover it up. That calls for termination of employment in my opinion. If he had not lied about it or tried to conceal it, then I would be all for a slap on the wrist, but that’s not the case.

Beast from the East

February 23rd, 2011
4:14 pm

rdcuk,
Agreed. How is the AD still employed? He should be the first one to go!

SmyrnaMan

February 23rd, 2011
4:17 pm

So Bruce should be fired because he lied about a BBQ? Just because the NCAA was stupid for suspending Dez for a year, doesnt mean they should be stupid again and suspend Bruce

Barb

February 23rd, 2011
4:20 pm

SmyrnaMan… Pearl did not initially admit to these violations, he lied in the faces of NCAA investigators, so you should get your facts straight.

Beast from the East

February 23rd, 2011
4:23 pm

Yes, he should be fired. He’s a a highly paid professional that not only knows the rules put is in charge on ensuring they are followed within the basketball program at UT. He intentionally broke them. That’s bad enough to warrant some form on punishment. Lying and trying to conceal the truth while under investigation is inexcusable for a man in his position. Own up to your mistakes, take your lumps and move on……like any MAN should do. He reacted like a child in an adverse situation.

GTFan478

February 23rd, 2011
4:24 pm

@Flatwoods Dawg

I know a few UT fans and yes do regret it. After it first happened I asked “Why would you wont Fulmer gone? Hes done wonders for yall.” Their answers were all the same. He cant recruit anymore. After three months of Kiffin, every UT fan I know already hated him and wanted Fullmore back.

Southside Dawg

February 23rd, 2011
4:25 pm

He lied so he should be fired! He got caught and tried to lie his way out of it. If you do this in the real world you are fired.

SmyrnaMan

February 23rd, 2011
4:26 pm

Hey Barb, thanks for clarifying that up for me, I wasnt sure how it all went down. /sarcasm. The man made a mistake, and owned up to his mistake and now he has paid. The only people who are calling for his firing are the knuckle draggers who would poison a tree

VolsRule

February 23rd, 2011
4:29 pm

An embarrassment to my University and for all Vols.

1. Pearl needs to go – he lied to the NCAA. He only came clean after he was painted into a corner and realized he was getting in deeper.
Integrity?

2. As our AD – Hamilton was responisbile for the hiring of Kiffin – a gamble on a promising young coach – which turned out to be an embarrassment to UT – and that leaves him with his other hire – Bruce Pearl. Hamilton also needs to be replaced if he does not fire Pearl.

As AD – he has to be accountable.

Beast from the East

February 23rd, 2011
4:31 pm

SmyrnaMan,
How can you say he “owned up to his mistakes”? He never did until after he was found guilty of the infractions. It’s common knowledge. I like Pearl, but he made his own bed.

Beast from the East

February 23rd, 2011
4:33 pm

VolsRule,
Glad to see a rational fan. I wish Pearl had handled it better, but he gave his integrity away……no one took it from him.

MoDawg

February 23rd, 2011
4:36 pm

According to SmyrnaMan, you’re only guilty if you get caught. Guess what….Pearl got caught and still lied about it until there was nothing left to do but own up to it. At the very least the AD needs to go. He appears to be quite a “gambler” and I’m not sure the proud Vol Nation wants that.

Yes, he made a mistake and a big one at that. A man in his position who has done a lot for Tennessee basketball should be held to a higher standard. He kicked the standard in the shins and needs to be dealt with. appropriately. Unfortunately, that probably means getting fired. Another school will pick him up and he’ll succeed there, too.

SmyrnaMan

February 23rd, 2011
4:40 pm

Calling the NCAA saying “I made a mistake” + going on National TV and crying about said mistake + UT taking away $1.5 Million + UT preventing him from recruiting for 1 year + SEC suspending him for 8 games = “Owned up to his Mistake”. The NCAA just suspended UCONN HC for 3 games for 8 MAJOR violations. This was just a BBQ at his house, not major violations involving recruits and agents

DL

February 23rd, 2011
4:40 pm

If the average person were to cheat at their job then lie to their employer, they would rightfully be fired. What makes Pearl any better?

RomeDawg

February 23rd, 2011
4:48 pm

CHEATERS…..and they still suck! I HATE the color orange and men named Lane!

SmyrnaMan

February 23rd, 2011
4:50 pm

DL… So people get fired every time they call in sick and are not really sick?

dawgster

February 23rd, 2011
4:51 pm

My question is why isn’t Bradley or Shultz all over this, perhaps they will, but if this was anything to do with the dawgs or Coach Richt it would have been AJC Headline grabbers…just my two cents, but i think its a fair question…..

joe

February 23rd, 2011
4:53 pm

Pearl’s only mistake was initially lying to the NCAA about it…for one whole day. He saw the error of his way, which many many coaches never do (i.e. Calipari, Harrick, etc) But alas, he has already taken a huge hit in the wallet, and served an 8 game suspension, more than any other coach has to date for a one-day lie. The other issues, illegal calls, improper contact, is done on a daily basis by just about every program.

Kiffen on the other hand, deserves to barred from coaching in coaching. He’s been a cancer since day 1. Now coupled with USC, who took cheating to another level with R. Bush, that is a disaster waiting to happen. Hope he gets fired…Pearl, not so much.

RRTDawgs

February 23rd, 2011
5:00 pm

Just saw on Chip’s tweet UGA offers R. Kirby and Jafar Mann i wonder if they may get back in the Mike Davis recruitment .

phil

February 23rd, 2011
5:01 pm

Roy Kramer is coming out of retirement to exonerate UT.

dawgster

February 23rd, 2011
5:02 pm

I don’t wish anything bad on Tenn or anyone for that matter, but anyone that would give Kiffin a head coaching job should have their head examined. It seems a shame that Tenn will probably pay a price for Kiffin and crew for that one short year…in my opinion as classless as a coach there is….

Jon Kontract

February 23rd, 2011
5:02 pm

Joe – Pearl also made a mistake by telling the kids at the BBQ that it was in violation of NCAA rules. He clearly knew when it was happening, that it was illegal. He also seemed to think he was pretty clever about the whole thing.

The question is why do any Vol fans want this guy representing their school.

dawgster

February 23rd, 2011
5:04 pm

@RRTDawgs….i’m glad we offered, i think the gators had already offered…that may open things back up for Davis, but it appears the dawgs are really concentrating on Marshall….go dawgs

phil

February 23rd, 2011
5:04 pm

P.S. I think SmirnoffMan has had a little too much of the juice.

SmyrnaMan is smoking something

February 23rd, 2011
5:05 pm

SmyrnaMan,

Pearl was so upset about his violations that 4 days later he committed some more.

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/columns/story?columnist=forde_pat&id=6150934

Yep he really owned up to it didn’t he?

RRTDawgs

February 23rd, 2011
5:05 pm

Will this effect I. Cross decision who a lot say will be a Vole .

tenn.DAWG

February 23rd, 2011
5:06 pm

Well just ask yourself this question.Would utk have kept Pearl if he had a losing record.Of course not,that speaks volumes for the integrity of Mike Hamilton and the utk program.

Einsteindawg

February 23rd, 2011
5:06 pm

What is even more puzzling is that Tenn AD, Mike Hamilton, still has his job. The two major revenue producers in men’s sports in trouble at the same time…go figure. If Hamilton isn’t fired soon, then the NCAA owes Mike Garrett (USC’s former AD) an apology.

dawgster

February 23rd, 2011
5:07 pm

Have to agree with a previous poster….We have in Coach Richt a first class person…I’ll take that anyday over some of the other coaches out there…go dawgs

dawgster

February 23rd, 2011
5:09 pm

@RRTDawgs…it may affect him with the Vols, but i believe Tech would be the other choice…don’t think the dawgs will secure his services although is very good and his teammate Curry is going to be a dawg….so who knows, but i would think Tech has the better chance…just my opinion…go dawgs

South GA Dawg

February 23rd, 2011
5:12 pm

This paper is so damn screwed up. If UGA farts it is headlines. Tenn. has had bar fights, violations, arrests, and all you see is a small article hidden away.I wish someone would fire half the idiots that run this thing. it is a shame to havea large paper like the AJC do such poor reporting.

bigtime

February 23rd, 2011
5:12 pm

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