KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl is working without a contract while the NCAA investigates his staff’s recruiting practices.
Pearl’s contract was terminated on Sept. 9, the day before he revealed to the public that he had provided incorrect information during an interview with NCAA investigators, Tennessee spokesman Jimmy Stanton said Thursday.
Tennessee officials presented Pearl with a new contract two weeks ago with a reduced salary, and attorneys are working to complete the deal. Pearl was to make $12.5 million over four seasons before athletics director Mike Hamilton reduced it by $1.5 million as part of his punishment for misleading the NCAA.
“A lot of this is legal procedure,” Hamilton said. “Basically the information that came to light in the course of the investigation warranted the termination of his previous contract as it was written. There will be some changes in terminology in the contract. The main thing is the compensation will be changed.”
The contract Pearl had been working under allowed for termination in the case of “acts of fraud” committed by the coach in the performance of his duties. WBIR-TV first reported the contract termination.
Tennessee drew the attention of the NCAA for excessive phone calls made to recruits by coaches, allowing recruits and their families on official visits to stay in Knoxville longer than allowed, and hosting a high school junior away from campus.
Pearl mislead investigators about improperly hosting Aaron Craft at his home. Craft now plays for Ohio State.