KNOXVILLE (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.