Auburn put men’s basketball program on double secret probation, report says

first_imgAuburn University secretly self-imposed a long list of sanctions against its men’s basketball program in the wake of assistant coach Chuck  Person’s arrest in September 2017, reported Wednesday, bringing to light for the first time the internal actions against Bruce Pearl’s program.The extraordinary situation — a public university keeping secret athletic department disciplinary actions — is unique not only for its clandestine nature but also the severity of the self-imposed sanctions. Chuck Person was so broke he started taking bribes in NCAA recruiting scandal, his lawyers say Auburn did not conduct recruiting of any kind from September 2017 to April 2018, Auburn athletics told no official visits or unofficial visits by prospective players, no contacts or phone calls to any recruits during that time.Consider the context: While Auburn was making a run to its first NCAA Tournament since 2003, a time when basketball programs try to leverage their success, Pearl and his staff were not doing any recruiting. Related News Auburn gives coach Bruce Pearl 5-year extension after Final Four run Former Auburn assistant Chuck Person avoids prison in recruiting corruption case Per on Wednesday: Requests for interviews with Pearl, compliance director Rich McGlynn and athletic director Allen Greene were denied. The university’s Office of the General Counsel didn’t respond to a request for official documents pertaining to the sanctions.Following up directly with Pearl, reported he responded via text: “If it’s OK with you, I’m leaving those subjects alone and refer you to compliance.”It’s difficult to assess the impact the sanctions had on the program, but anecdotally, Auburn, which advanced to the 2019 Final Four, didn’t have any true freshmen, who would’ve been recruited during the cycle of the sanctions, on last season’s roster, despite reportedly having multiple open scholarships. The program is no longer under any self-imposed sanctions.Person was sentenced last month to community service during two years of supervised release, avoiding prison time for his role in a wide-ranging bribery scandal that rocked college basketball and led Auburn to hold players Danjel Purifoy and Austin Wiley out for the entire 2017-18 season.Auburn sought to distance itself from Person’s actions in a victim impact statement to the federal court, saying it still faces the potential for NCAA sanctions because of Person. Pearl has publicly reiterated that expectation, too.last_img