Auburn hires Bruce Pearl as its new head basketball coach - WSET.com - ABC13

Auburn hires Bruce Pearl as its new head basketball coach

Posted: Updated:
Auburn's new men's basketball coach, Bruce Pearl, waves to fans after he received a birthday cake from Auburn mascot Aubie on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill) Auburn's new men's basketball coach, Bruce Pearl, waves to fans after he received a birthday cake from Auburn mascot Aubie on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Auburn has hired former Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl to revive a struggling basketball program that hasn't been to the NCAA tournament in more than a decade.

The school announced the hiring on Tuesday of the charismatic coach, who remains under a show-cause penalty from the NCAA into August. Pearl had plenty of success on the court, taking Tennessee to the NCAA tournament in each of his six seasons before getting fired in March 2011 in the wake of an NCAA investigation.

NCAA spokeswoman Emily James said Auburn has 30 days to file a report to the Committee on Infractions either contesting or accepting the show-cause penalty barring Pearl from recruiting until Aug. 23.

Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs said he believes Pearl "has learned from his mistake." The coach was to be introduced at a news conference at Auburn Arena Tuesday night.

Auburn did not release terms of the deal with Pearl.

"I'm humbled and blessed to be back in the game that I love," Pearl, who turned 54 on Tuesday, said in a statement. "I don't know how long it will take, but it's time to rebuild the Auburn basketball program, and bring it to a level of excellence so many of the other teams on campus enjoy."

Pearl was greeted by 100-plus fans when he landed at the airport in Auburn. He jumped into a mosh pit of fans.

"I want this same reception when we come back with an SEC championship," he told fans upon arrival.

Pearl replaces Tony Barbee, who was fired about two hours after the Tigers lost to South Carolina in the first round of the Southeastern Conference tournament. They went 18-50 in the SEC during Barbee's four-year tenure, which coincided with the opening of the $87 million Auburn Arena.

Jacobs said with the move "we have raised the bar for Auburn basketball." He addressed the off-the-court issues in an open letter to fans posted on the school's Web site.

"After looking at the case and talking to Coach Pearl face to face, I am convinced without a doubt that he has learned from his mistake," Jacobs wrote.

"I've thought about this a great deal, and obviously so has Coach Pearl. I believe people who are genuine and sincere deserve second chances. If I did not believe Coach Pearl's apologies were sincere and heartfelt, I would not have even considered him."

Pearl was cited for unethical conduct for lying to investigators in June 2010 about improperly hosting recruits at his home. He was placed under a three-year show-cause penalty

He also was found to have interfered with the NCAA's investigation after he contacted a recruit's father who had also been interviewed by investigators.

Two months after his initial interview, he met again with NCAA investigators to tell them he had misled them.

SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said he trusts that Auburn did "its due diligence throughout the hiring process."

"I was disappointed in the actions of coach Pearl that led to his suspension and ultimate dismissal, but he will soon complete the requirements of his NCAA penalties," Slive said. " I have every expectation that he has learned his lesson and will run Auburn's basketball program in accordance with these expectations."

Auburn hired former NCAA director of enforcement David Didion as an associate athletic director for compliance in April 2013.

Pearl, who is 231-99 in Division I, has been working in private business in Knoxville, Tenn., and working as an ESPN analyst. He has led nine of his 10 Division I teams to the NCAA tournament, including three times in four seasons at Wisconsin-Milwaukee and led Division II Southern Indiana to a national title in 1995.

Pearl's teams have had winning records in all 19 of his seasons as a head coach.

A seven-time conference coach of the year during his career, Pearl led the Volunteers to the Sweet Sixteen four times and they made the Elite Eight in 2010.

He's led major turnarounds before. Pearl inherited a Tennessee team that went 14-17 and lost its top two scorers, and took the Vols to a 22-8 record in his debut season, 2005-06.

Only North Carolina's Roy Williams reached 300 career wins faster among NCAA coaches.

Auburn hasn't been to the NCAA tournament since 2003, the longest drought in the SEC. The Tigers' average attendance last season was 5,823, 13th in the league.

The last seven Auburn coaches have left with losing marks in the league, dating back to the Joel Eaves era from 1949-63. Pearl takes over a team that went 14-16 and loses three starters, including leading scorer Chris Denson.

Follow John Zenor on Twitter @jzenor

  • Auburn University SportsMore>>

  • Auburn QB Nick Marshall pays $1,100 in fines for marijuana possession, window tint violations in Georgia

    Auburn QB Nick Marshall pays $1,100 in fines for marijuana possession, window tint violations in Georgia

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:33 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:33:03 GMT
    Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall has paid the fines for possession of a small amount of marijuana and a window tint violation.
    Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall has paid the fines for possession of a small amount of marijuana and a window tint violation.
  • CB Chris Westry commits to Auburn

    CB Chris Westry commits to Auburn

    Thursday, July 24 2014 2:22 PM EDT2014-07-24 18:22:20 GMT
    Auburn added some size to the future of it's defensive backfield.Cornerback Chris Westry of Oakleaf High School in Florida committed to be part of the Tigers recruiting class of 2015. The 6-foot-4, 180 pound Westry is a three-star prospect according to 247Sports.Oakleaf High School announced the commitment on it's twitter page,2015 DB Chris Westry has committed to Auburn #WarEagle --Oakleaf Football ?, July 24 Westry is the 18th commitment for Auburn's 2015 signing class.
    Auburn added some size to the future of it's defensive backfield.Cornerback Chris Westry of Oakleaf High School in Florida committed to be part of the Tigers recruiting class of 2015. The 6-foot-4, 180 pound Westry is a three-star prospect according to 247Sports.Oakleaf High School announced the commitment on it's twitter page,2015 DB Chris Westry has committed to Auburn #WarEagle --Oakleaf Football ?, July 24 Westry is the 18th commitment for Auburn's 2015 signing class.
  • Josh Donaldson nominated for MLB Heart and Hustle Award

    Josh Donaldson nominated for MLB Heart and Hustle Award

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:37 PM EDT2014-07-23 22:37:43 GMT
    Josh Donaldson earned the Oakland A's Heart and Hustle Award. It's the second consecutive season Donaldson was chosen for the honor.
    Josh Donaldson earned the Oakland A's Heart and Hustle Award. It's the second consecutive season Donaldson was chosen for the honor.
  • UAB SportsMore>>

  • Roddy White gets three-year extension from Atlanta Falcons

    Roddy White gets three-year extension from Atlanta Falcons

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:40 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:40:23 GMT
    Roddy White is set to sign a contract extension that will keep him in Atlanta for four more seasons.White and the Falcons have agreed on a three-year, $30 million extension that will go into affect after the 2014 season. The deal likely means that White will spend his entire NFL career with the franchise that selected him out of UAB with their first round pick in 2005.White is the Falcons franchise leader in career receptions (685), receiving yards (9,436), and career 100-yard receiving games...
    Roddy White is set to sign a contract extension that will keep him in Atlanta for four more seasons.White and the Falcons have agreed on a three-year, $30 million extension that will go into affect after the 2014 season. The deal likely means that White will spend his entire NFL career with the franchise that selected him out of UAB with their first round pick in 2005.White is the Falcons franchise leader in career receptions (685), receiving yards (9,436), and career 100-yard receiving games...
  • C-USA commissioner says league has bright future

    C-USA commissioner says league has bright future

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 7:29 PM EDT2014-07-23 23:29:27 GMT
    The commissioner of Conference USA sees his league at a "pivot point" with a bright future at a time when he says intercollegiate athletics are transitioning from conference realignment to system realignment.
    The commissioner of Conference USA sees his league at a "pivot point" with a bright future at a time when he says intercollegiate athletics are transitioning from conference realignment to system realignment.
  • UAB gets commitment from JUCO receiver/returner

    UAB gets commitment from JUCO receiver/returner

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:17 PM EDT2014-07-22 22:17:31 GMT
    Alex Byers is set to return to his southeast roots. The junior college wide receiver and return man committed to UAB. He's the ninth member of the Blazers 2015 recruiting class.
    Alex Byers is set to return to his southeast roots. The junior college wide receiver and return man committed to UAB. He's the ninth member of the Blazers 2015 recruiting class.
  • All other Local CollegesMore>>

  • Samford picked to finish third in Southern Conference

    Samford picked to finish third in Southern Conference

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 8:38 PM EDT2014-07-24 00:38:39 GMT
    Coming off it's first trip to the FCS Playoffs, Samford was picked to finish third in the Southern Conference, the highest the program has even been picked in the preseason since it joined the league in 2008.
    Coming off it's first trip to the FCS Playoffs, Samford was picked to finish third in the Southern Conference, the highest the program has even been picked in the preseason since it joined the league in 2008.
  • Alabama State, Southern favorites in SWAC

    Alabama State, Southern favorites in SWAC

    Friday, July 18 2014 5:11 PM EDT2014-07-18 21:11:55 GMT
    Defending Southwestern Athletic Conference champion Southern and Alabama State are the favorites to win their divisions.
    Defending Southwestern Athletic Conference champion Southern and Alabama State are the favorites to win their divisions.
  • JSU football picked by media to win OVC championship

    JSU football picked by media to win OVC championship

    Friday, July 18 2014 4:08 PM EDT2014-07-18 20:08:13 GMT
    Jacksonville State is picked to win the Ohio Valley Conference championship by media covering the league.
    Jacksonville State is picked to win the Ohio Valley Conference championship by media covering the league.
  • SportsMore>>

  • AP Source: NFL stadium sites explored in Toronto

    AP Source: NFL stadium sites explored in Toronto

    Thursday, July 24 2014 4:06 PM EDT2014-07-24 20:06:58 GMT
    A person close to the situation says a Buffalo Bills prospective ownership group that includes rocker Jon Bon Jovi has conducted a feasibility study into buying the NFL franchise and building a stadium in Toronto.
    A Buffalo Bills prospective ownership group that includes rocker Jon Bon Jovi has conducted a feasibility study into buying the NFL franchise and building a stadium in Toronto, said a person close to the situation says
  • 2 Texas football players charged with sex assault

    2 Texas football players charged with sex assault

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:54 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:54:37 GMT
    Two University of Texas football players were arrested and charged Thursday with felony sexual assault after a female student said she was raped in a campus dorm room last month.
    Two University of Texas football players were arrested and charged Thursday with felony sexual assault after a female student said she was raped in a campus dorm room last month.
  • Manning getting used to new faces on Broncos

    Manning getting used to new faces on Broncos

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:54 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:54:27 GMT
    Though his physical condition is no longer a big question mark for Peyton Manning, when he looks around at training camp, he must feel like he's starting over again.
    Though his physical condition is no longer a big question mark for Peyton Manning, when he looks around at training camp, he must feel like he's starting over again.
  • Local SportsMore>>

  • Roddy White gets three-year extension from Atlanta Falcons

    Roddy White gets three-year extension from Atlanta Falcons

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:40 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:40:23 GMT
    Roddy White is set to sign a contract extension that will keep him in Atlanta for four more seasons.White and the Falcons have agreed on a three-year, $30 million extension that will go into affect after the 2014 season. The deal likely means that White will spend his entire NFL career with the franchise that selected him out of UAB with their first round pick in 2005.White is the Falcons franchise leader in career receptions (685), receiving yards (9,436), and career 100-yard receiving games...
    Roddy White is set to sign a contract extension that will keep him in Atlanta for four more seasons.White and the Falcons have agreed on a three-year, $30 million extension that will go into affect after the 2014 season. The deal likely means that White will spend his entire NFL career with the franchise that selected him out of UAB with their first round pick in 2005.White is the Falcons franchise leader in career receptions (685), receiving yards (9,436), and career 100-yard receiving games...
  • Auburn QB Nick Marshall pays $1,100 in fines for marijuana possession, window tint violations in Georgia

    Auburn QB Nick Marshall pays $1,100 in fines for marijuana possession, window tint violations in Georgia

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:33 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:33:03 GMT
    Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall has paid the fines for possession of a small amount of marijuana and a window tint violation.
    Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall has paid the fines for possession of a small amount of marijuana and a window tint violation.
  • CB Chris Westry commits to Auburn

    CB Chris Westry commits to Auburn

    Thursday, July 24 2014 2:22 PM EDT2014-07-24 18:22:20 GMT
    Auburn added some size to the future of it's defensive backfield.Cornerback Chris Westry of Oakleaf High School in Florida committed to be part of the Tigers recruiting class of 2015. The 6-foot-4, 180 pound Westry is a three-star prospect according to 247Sports.Oakleaf High School announced the commitment on it's twitter page,2015 DB Chris Westry has committed to Auburn #WarEagle --Oakleaf Football ?, July 24 Westry is the 18th commitment for Auburn's 2015 signing class.
    Auburn added some size to the future of it's defensive backfield.Cornerback Chris Westry of Oakleaf High School in Florida committed to be part of the Tigers recruiting class of 2015. The 6-foot-4, 180 pound Westry is a three-star prospect according to 247Sports.Oakleaf High School announced the commitment on it's twitter page,2015 DB Chris Westry has committed to Auburn #WarEagle --Oakleaf Football ?, July 24 Westry is the 18th commitment for Auburn's 2015 signing class.
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Birmingham man says penis mistakenly amputated during circumcision operation, files lawsuit

    Birmingham man says penis mistakenly amputated during circumcision operation, files lawsuit

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:52 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:52:32 GMT
    An Alabama man who went to the hospital for a routine circumcision says doctors mistakenly amputated his penis.
    An Alabama man who went to the hospital for a routine circumcision says doctors mistakenly amputated his penis.
  • Roddy White gets three-year extension from Atlanta Falcons

    Roddy White gets three-year extension from Atlanta Falcons

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:40 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:40:23 GMT
    Roddy White is set to sign a contract extension that will keep him in Atlanta for four more seasons.White and the Falcons have agreed on a three-year, $30 million extension that will go into affect after the 2014 season. The deal likely means that White will spend his entire NFL career with the franchise that selected him out of UAB with their first round pick in 2005.White is the Falcons franchise leader in career receptions (685), receiving yards (9,436), and career 100-yard receiving games...
    Roddy White is set to sign a contract extension that will keep him in Atlanta for four more seasons.White and the Falcons have agreed on a three-year, $30 million extension that will go into affect after the 2014 season. The deal likely means that White will spend his entire NFL career with the franchise that selected him out of UAB with their first round pick in 2005.White is the Falcons franchise leader in career receptions (685), receiving yards (9,436), and career 100-yard receiving games...
  • Auburn QB Nick Marshall pays $1,100 in fines for marijuana possession, window tint violations in Georgia

    Auburn QB Nick Marshall pays $1,100 in fines for marijuana possession, window tint violations in Georgia

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:33 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:33:03 GMT
    Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall has paid the fines for possession of a small amount of marijuana and a window tint violation.
    Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall has paid the fines for possession of a small amount of marijuana and a window tint violation.
  • CB Chris Westry commits to Auburn

    CB Chris Westry commits to Auburn

    Thursday, July 24 2014 2:22 PM EDT2014-07-24 18:22:20 GMT
    Auburn added some size to the future of it's defensive backfield.Cornerback Chris Westry of Oakleaf High School in Florida committed to be part of the Tigers recruiting class of 2015. The 6-foot-4, 180 pound Westry is a three-star prospect according to 247Sports.Oakleaf High School announced the commitment on it's twitter page,2015 DB Chris Westry has committed to Auburn #WarEagle --Oakleaf Football ?, July 24 Westry is the 18th commitment for Auburn's 2015 signing class.
    Auburn added some size to the future of it's defensive backfield.Cornerback Chris Westry of Oakleaf High School in Florida committed to be part of the Tigers recruiting class of 2015. The 6-foot-4, 180 pound Westry is a three-star prospect according to 247Sports.Oakleaf High School announced the commitment on it's twitter page,2015 DB Chris Westry has committed to Auburn #WarEagle --Oakleaf Football ?, July 24 Westry is the 18th commitment for Auburn's 2015 signing class.
  • Social media post delays sentencing for former teacher who pleaded guilty to rape, sodomy charges

    Social media post delays sentencing for former teacher who pleaded guilty to rape, sodomy charges

    Thursday, July 24 2014 2:11 PM EDT2014-07-24 18:11:23 GMT
    CHILTON COUNTY, Ala. -- The sentencing of a former Thorsby High School teacher who pleaded guilty to rape and sodomy charges was delayed Thursday until August 7.Chilton County Circuit Court Judge John Bush made the decision after prosecutors filed a motion, claiming that, in May, McNeill posted a Facebook post that was "inconsistent with her guilty plea." Deputy Chief District Attorney C.J. Robinson said the post, which suggested innocence, was posted the day after she appeared in court.McNei...
    CHILTON COUNTY, Ala. -- The sentencing of a former Thorsby High School teacher who pleaded guilty to rape and sodomy charges was delayed Thursday until August 7.Chilton County Circuit Court Judge John Bush made the decision after prosecutors filed a motion, claiming that, in May, McNeill posted a Facebook post that was "inconsistent with her guilty plea." Deputy Chief District Attorney C.J. Robinson said the post, which suggested innocence, was posted the day after she appeared in court.McNei...
  • Tuscaloosa man, 21, charged in accidental shooting of his teen brother

    Tuscaloosa man, 21, charged in accidental shooting of his teen brother

    Thursday, July 24 2014 1:22 PM EDT2014-07-24 17:22:08 GMT
    Jalen BurnsJalen Burns
    A 21-year-old man has been charged in connection with the accidental shooting of his brother in Tuscaloosa earlier this month, the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office said.
    A 21-year-old man has been charged in connection with the accidental shooting of his brother in Tuscaloosa earlier this month, the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office said.
  • Governor's office: Immigrant children expected in Montgomery

    Governor's office: Immigrant children expected in Montgomery

    Thursday, July 24 2014 1:02 PM EDT2014-07-24 17:02:58 GMT
    A spokeswoman for Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says the federal government has notified the governor that immigrant children will be placed at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery. Communications Director Jennifer Ardis says the governor's chief of staff got a call from the Federal Emergency Management Agency late Wednesday afternoon. She said it's not known how many children will be placed at the base or how soon they will arrive. A spokesman for the Secretary of Defense says the Department o...
    A spokeswoman for Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says the federal government has notified the governor that immigrant children will be placed at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery. Communications Director Jennifer Ardis says the governor's chief of staff got a call from the Federal Emergency Management Agency late Wednesday afternoon. She said it's not known how many children will be placed at the base or how soon they will arrive. A spokesman for the Secretary of Defense says the Department o...
  • Official: Air Algerie flight 'probably crashed'

    Official: Air Algerie flight 'probably crashed'

    Thursday, July 24 2014 12:53 PM EDT2014-07-24 16:53:47 GMT
    An Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria's capital disappeared from radar early Thursday over northern Mali, officials said.
    An Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria's capital disappeared from radar early Thursday over northern Mali, officials said.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WSET. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.