Tennessee Defends Firing of Bruce Pearl

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee officials say they did not
immediately fire former basketball coach Bruce Pearl after he
revealed he lied to NCAA investigators because doing so would deter
others from reporting misconduct. Pearl continued to cover up wrongdoings though, even after his job was spared.

The university's official response to the NCAA's allegations of
wrongdoing says administrators believed docking Pearl's pay and
restricting his ability to recruit was "only slightly less severe than complete termination." The response was first reported by The
Knoxville News Sentinel and later released to other media.

Pearl told university administrators and the NCAA in July 2010
that he lied to investigators the previous month about improperly
hosting prospects at a cookout at his home. He is accused of making improper contact with another prospect in September 2010.

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