Bruce Pearl is refusing to cooperate with Auburn's internal investigation into the men's basketball program, and University officials have warned he could be terminated if he doesn't begin to, according to a report from ESPN on Wednesday.
Sources told ESPN Pearl has refused to talk to attorneys leading the internal investigation and that the attorneys have been unable to determine whether Pearl was involved in any wrongdoing because his computers and cell phones were seized by the FBI as part of their investigation.
The University hired law firm Lightfoot, Franklin & White to conduct an internal investigation following the FBI's arrest of then-associate head coach Chuck Person in September. On Tuesday, Person was fired after being indicted on six charges by a grand jury in federal court in New York.
A decision will be made in the next week or two regarding Pearl's future, ESPN reported.
Auburn was subpoenaed in October by federal prosecutors, who requested a wide range of documents. The LA Times obtained a two-page subpoena issued to Oklahoma State at the same time, believed to be nearly identical to the subpoenas sent to Auburn, USC and Arizona.
"Auburn has pledged full cooperation with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York," a University spokesperson said in October.
Pearl was fired as the University of Tennessee's head basketball coach in 2011 after lying to the NCAA about recruitment violations he and his staff committed. After, the NCAA forbade Pearl from engaging in recruitment activities for three years, until August 2014.
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Auburn announced the hiring of Pearl on March 18, 2014, and was unable to participate in recruitment until his punishment expired.
"From the moment I met Coach Pearl and heard his vision for our basketball program, it was clear he's the right man at the right time for Auburn," said athletics director Jay Jacobs at the time of his hiring.
Last week, Jacobs announced he would be stepping down as Auburn's athletic director by June.
The United States attorney for the Southern District of New York charged Person with accepting bribe money in exchange for directing student-athletes to money managers and agents if they were to make it to the NBA. The grand jury
Sophomores Danjel Purifoy and Austin Wiley were held out of Auburn's opening exhibition game last week and have been suspended indefinitely amid the investigations.
The Tigers begin regular season play on Friday, against Norfolk State.
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