- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
- Florida appeals court rules universities can’t regulate guns
- Vladimir Putin defends Russian conservative values
- Tea Party Patriots call key GOP firing a declaration of war
Tennessee, Pearl, Kiffin to answer to NCAA charges
KNOXVILLE, TENN. (AP) - Outgoing athletics director Mike Hamilton, former basketball coach Bruce Pearl and former football coach Lane Kiffin are part of a Tennessee contingent that will meet with NCAA officials this weekend.
The group will meet with the NCAA's Committee on Infractions on Saturday in Indianapolis to defend themselves and the university against 12 charges of major violations after two years of being scrutinized by investigators.
“The length of these investigations is problematic in college athletics,” Hamilton said. “If you think about the fact that our investigation began in April of 2009 and here we are in June of 2011, 26 months later _ there’s collateral damage along the way because of that.”
Pearl was fired in March and Hamilton announced Tuesday he would resign by the end of the month. Kiffin left Tennessee after news of a possible investigation into the football program was made public and is now coaching at Southern California.
“Once we go to the NCAA Committee on Infractions this weekend, we’re not sure what that time frame’s going to be,” UT-Knoxville Chancellor Jimmy Cheek said. “Every time frame we have been given has been longer than we have anticipated, so I don’t think we can wait on the NCAA to come forth.”
Pompano Beach, Fla., attorney Michael L. Buckner, who has represented a number of schools during NCAA infractions hearings, said the length of the NCAA’s investigations is usually in the best interest for everyone involved.
“It’s been my experience in the last few years that with their emphasis to try to get things done more quickly they’re not as detail-oriented as they should be,” Buckner said. “In this case you’re dealing with several coaches and their future careers in collegiate athletics, I would want to make sure that they’re doing everything to make sure they have all the information.”
The Vols could be slapped with recruiting restrictions, scholarship reductions or postseason bans. Pearl may be prohibited from coaching collegiate teams for several years for an unethical conduct charge.
Kiffin faces a charge of neglecting to monitor his staff properly, and any punishments he may receive could follow him to Southern California, a program already dealing with its own heavy sanctions from rules violations committed during the 2004 and 2005 seasons.
Kiffin left Tennessee in January 2010 to take the Trojans job, just after rumors of a possible investigation into a possible improper use of student hostesses during recruiting leaked to the public.
Hamilton punished Pearl after the basketball coach acknowledged lying to NCAA investigators in September but pledged to stick with him. He ultimately fired Pearl in March after learning the coach had possibly committed another recruiting violation just days after his teary admission of lying.
“I don’t have any firm knowledge of this but it’s my belief and the belief of those that I’ve talked to, that going into the committee on infractions now with a new head basketball coach and a new head football coach and the prospect of a new athletic director is not bad for the University of Tennessee,” Hamilton said. “I can’t say that it’s good, necessarily, but it’s not bad.”
Tennessee announced Thursday it would merge it’s men’s and women’s athletics departments and that longtime women’s AD Joan Cronan would serve as the interim director of all Tennessee athletics. Cronan, whose programs have never faced major NCAA infractions, said her goal was to bring some stability to the university.
Hamilton hoped to lessen the eventual punishment from the NCAA by proactively punishing Pearl and his staff in September after the university was formally notified of the NCAA’s investigation. He docked the basketball staff’s salaries and limited the amount of time they could spend on the road recruiting.
“If you have an AD under that hot seat then having a clean slate is very helpful because the institution can say, ‘We made the necessary moves,’” he said. “The issue about Tennessee’s situation is when they did it. If a school is going to make that move then normally they make it weeks before the hearing or weeks after the hearing, not the week before the hearing.”
No matter what happens, all eyes in Division I athletics will be on Tennessee and the NCAA when the final ruling is issued. Like Pearl, former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel is facing an unethical conduct charge after covering up his knowledge of his players taking improper benefits from a tattoo-parlor owner.
And Tennessee’s punishment can help educated other universities determine where to focus their compliance efforts.
“The entire Division I membership _ especially the schools in the power six conferences _ make sure they stay abreast of what the enforcement staff is alleging and what the infractions committee rules,” Buckner said. “The Tennessees, Ohio States, USCs and Michigans of the world impact what they do with compliance.”
By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- House pushes through two-year Ryan-Murray budget deal
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- Jane Fonda Foundation fails to make single contribution in 5 years: report
- All-out war breaks out in GOP over budget pact
- White House improvises again on patchy Obamacare rollout
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Chef Mary Moran discusses the food we eat, where it comes from and what it does for us.
An informed and often humorous take on the world of advertising, public relations and social media. 100% Pure. Not from concentrate.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow