Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl hasn’t been cooperating with investigators, and his job could be on the line, per ESPN’s Mark Schlabach and Paula Lavigne.
Auburn recently hired the Birmingham law firm Lightfoot, Franklin and White to investigate its basketball program. The investigation comes in the wake of the FBI bribery and corruption scandal that led to the arrest of Auburn associate head coach Chuck Person. Person was indicted by a federal grand jury on Tuesday, Nov. 7 on six charges. He was also fired from Auburn on the same day.
Could Pearl be next?
Sources told ESPN that Pearl is refusing to cooperate with the attorneys, and that they’ve yet to determine if Pearl was involved in any misconduct. Auburn officials have reportedly given Pearl a deadline to cooperate. If Pearl continues to rebel, it could cost him his job. Sources said that Auburn could make a decision on Pearl’s future over the next two weeks.
Many speculated that Pearl might not survive the 2017-18 season after the FBI’s accusations surfaced. The Tigers declared two of their star players, Austin Wiley and Danjel Purifoy, ineligible before their exhibition game against Barry on Nov. 12. Wiley and Purifoy are believed to be the unnamed players in the FBI complaint. Auburn lost that game in overtime, 100-95.