NCAA accuses Tennessee of rules violations

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The NCAA has charged Tennessee with at least a dozen rulesviolations committed by the university's basketball and footballprograms.

Included in the allegations after the NCAA's 22-monthinvestigation are charges that coach Bruce Pearl acted unethicallyand failed to monitor compliance activities by his basketballstaff. Former Volunteers football coach Lane Kiffin is also chargedwith failing to monitor his staff. Kiffin is now at SouthernCalifornia.

The notice, which was received by Tennessee on Tuesday andreleased Wednesday, did not include potential punishments.

"Receipt of the NCAA's notice of allegations by the Universityof Tennessee is another step in bringing this matter toconclusion," Tennessee athletics director Mike Hamilton said in astatement. "Our institution has operated in complete cooperationwith the NCAA since April 2009 as they have pursued theirinvestigations. We take these allegations seriously and most itemsnoted in this document have already been reported broadly."

Tennessee has until May 21 to respond to the NCAA's allegationsand is expected to appear at a June 10-11 meeting of the Committeeon Infractions.

Most of the charges against Pearl and his program stem fromimpermissible calls made to recruits and Pearl's improper hostingof recruits at his home during a 2008 cookout.

Pearl acknowledged in September misleading NCAA investigatorsabout the cookout, and Tennessee punished him by reducing hissalary by $1.5 million over four seasons and banning him fromoff-campus recruiting for a year. The Southeastern Conferencepunished him with an eight-game suspension, which he has alreadyserved.

"Throughout this process we have recognized that we madesignificant mistakes, and we look forward to concluding this matterwith the NCAA," Pearl said in a statement. "The penalties imposedon our program to date have been severe, but I want to commend ourstudent-athletes and staff for staying focused and working throughthese potential distractions."

The charges against Kiffin and his staff relate to impermissiblecontact with recruits by coaches and the program's studenthostesses.

The NCAA also reviewed Tennessee's baseball program during itsprobe, but did not levy any charges against it.

"Any allegation from the NCAA is a serious matter for us, and wewill address these issues in a timely manner," said Jimmy Cheek,chancellor of Tennessee's Knoxville campus. "As an institution wehave been proactive in dealing with these allegations, and we willcontinue to cooperate fully with the NCAA."


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