Report: Bruce Pearl could be fired for not cooperating with Auburn's investigation

Auburn coach Bruce Pearl's job is in jeopardy after refusing to cooperate with the university's internal investigation into the men's basketball program, according to a report from ESPN.

The university retained a law firm to conduct the investigation after now-former associate head coach Chuck Person was arrested in September for his connection in the FBI's probe into corruption within college basketball and recruiting. Person was indicted on Tuesday and is facing six federal charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, solicitation of bribes and gratuities, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, honest services wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and travel act conspiracy.

Although Pearl wasn't implicated in the grand jury's initial findings, his refusal to cooperate has thrown a wrinkle into the investigation, and a decision regarding his future with the school could be determined "in the next week or two." Here are more details from the report.

Sources told ESPN that Pearl has refused to talk to attorneys conducting the university's investigation, and they've been yet unable to determine if Pearl was involved in NCAA violations or other wrongdoing because FBI agents seized his computers and cell phones as part of their investigation.

In the wake of the FBI's probe, Auburn is also holding out Danjel Purifoy and its best player, Austin Wiley, in an attempt to "avoid any potential eligibility issues." Pearl told ESPN's Jeff Goodman that Auburn is involved in an ongoing investigation to certify the eligibility of the players, but offered up no further comment on the matter.

This wouldn't be the first run-in to trouble with Pearl. At his previous stop at the University of Tennessee, he was hit with a show-cause penalty by the NCAA after he lied to investigators about the recruitment process of Aaron Craft. He was fired from the school in 2011 and hired by Auburn in March 2014, a mere five months before the show-cause penalty for his violations at Tennessee were set to expire. Now it appears he could be in hot water once again if he refuses to cooperate into the school's probe of his program.

Our Latest Stories