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College Basketball Insider

Bruce Pearl named Auburn men's basketball coach

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Auburn has hired Bruce Pearl to be its new men's basketball coach, a source told CBSSports.com on Tuesday morning.

The school subsequently announced the hiring.

"I'm humbled and blessed to be back in the game that I love," Pearl said. "I don't know how long it will take, but it's time to rebuild the Auburn basketball program, and bring it to a level of excellence so many of the other teams on campus enjoy."

Pearl will replace Tony Barbee.

He was fired after four seasons at Auburn.

"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 Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs. "Coach Pearl is a proven winner who will bring energy and excitement to our program. We have raised the bar for Auburn basketball, and I could not be more excited for our student-athletes and our future under Coach Pearl's leadership."

Pearl previously spent six seasons at Tennessee and made six NCAA Tournaments.

He was fired in March 2011 during an NCAA investigation into recruiting violations.

He's still serving a three-year show cause that expires in August.

As we reported in August on the notion of someone hiring Pearl before his show-cause expired, Auburn can essentially petition the NCAA to get the three-year show-cause lifted early while arguing that Pearl would've already missed three seasons of coaching. If that appeal is not successful, Pearl will be limited in how he can recruit through the summer, but it wouldn't prevent his staff from evaluating prospects in April and July.


Gary Parrish is a senior college basketball columnist for CBSSports.com and frequent contributor to the CBS Sports Network. The Mississippi native also hosts the highest-rated sports talk radio show -- The Gary Parrish Show -- in the history of Memphis. He lives in that area with his wife, two children and a dog.
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