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Auburn will not appeal Bruce Pearl’s show-cause penalty


Auburn made one of the biggest splashes of this year’s coaching carousel last month when they hired ex-Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl.

Pearl is an excellent coach, taking Tennessee to a No. 1 ranking and within a possession of the Final Four, but his success was cut short when he was given a three-year show-cause penalty by the NCAA for lying about the infamous 2008 barbecue he hosted at his house.

That show-cause penalty runs out on August 24th, meaning that in order for Pearl to be able to be on the road recruiting during the all-important April and July live periods, he would have to file an appeal with the NCAA.

On Tuesday, the school announced that they would not be filing said appeal.

“I felt strongly that not appealing the show-cause order was the right thing to do, and coach Pearl wholeheartedly agreed we should not contest it,” Tigers AD Jay Jacobs said in a statement. “When I decided to hire coach Pearl, I was well aware of these restrictions and their ramifications. Coach Pearl and I both respect the process and we will fully honor the show-cause until it expires in August.”

“When I received my show-cause penalty from the NCAA in August 2011, I chose then not to appeal as it would lessen my position of accountability,” Pearl added. “Auburn University, the SEC and the NCAA have given me an opportunity to return to coaching before my show-cause ends and I am grateful. I have confidence in our coaching staff’s ability to present Auburn University and its men’s basketball program until my show-cause ends.”

Pearl told SI.com earlier this month that he’s relying on his assistant coaches and his track record as a head coach to do the recruiting for him. His staff has already earned a commitment from highly-rated JuCo transfer Cinmeon Bowers and is one of the final schools on the list for Marshall transfer Kareem Canty. When a prospect is on an official visit, Pearl said he won’t even visit the basketball building.

“Let’s say my phone rings and it’s an AAU coach,” Pearl told SI, “and I’ve got hundreds of them in my phone. A lot of them have called and said hey, congratulations, welcome back. Within the first 10-15 seconds I’m letting them all know that I appreciate their call and their best wishes, but I can’t talk to then until Aug. 24. Talk to [Chuck] Person, talk to [Tony] Jones.”

Rutgers hoping new duo can bring a spark

of the Ohio State Buckeyes against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during their Big Ten conference game at Rutgers Athletic Center on February 8, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey.
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Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.

With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.

“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”

Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.

While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.

LSU looking into starting lineup options

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - MARCH 7:  Head Coach Johnny Jones of the LSU Tigers watches his team play during a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bud Walton Arena on March 7, 2015 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  The Tigers defeated the Razorbacks 81-78.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
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LSU football and Leonard Fournette are off to a strong start this fall, but the beginning of October also means that college hoops is right around the corner. If you’re a Tigers basketball fan, you also have plenty to be excited about on the hardwood this season with the arrival of a loaded freshman class headlined by forward Ben Simmons.

While the versatile Simmons has solidified a spot in the starting lineup for next season, it’ll be interesting to see how head coach Johnny Jones uses the rest of his talented freshmen. In a story from Sheldon Mickles of the New Orleans Advocate, he looks into some potential LSU starting lineups.

Freshman guard Antonio Blakeney, a McDonald’s All-American with Simmons, is also expected to start, but does another talented freshman guard, Brandon Sampson get a shot to start? And what of Arizona transfer Craig Victor when he’s eligible to play in December?

Mickles believes the early favorite for starting lineup is guards Tim Quarterman, Keith Hornsby, Blakeney, Simmons and center Darcy Malone. When Victor returns, Mickles said Victor could push Simmons into the “center” position, which would be a matchup nightmare on the opposition because Simmons would be very tough for many college centers to defend.

Sampson also gets a mention from Mickles of having the potential to start down the line. Overall, a good problem to have for Jones and he’ll have to experiment to see which lineups are giving him the most. Having a productive starting five is nice, but I’m sure Jones would love to find the five players he wants to close with.