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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.”

Utah lands top-75 center Jayce Johnson

Larry Krystkowiak
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Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.

Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.

Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.


PHOTO: South Carolina gets new uniforms

Frank Martin
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South Carolina debuted some new uniforms early this week as the school is going with a fresh look and three color ways.

They’re also going to with the “Carolina” branding this season, but I think these new uniforms look pretty cool.