Auburn athletic director Allen Greene is confident that Bruce Pearl will be around quite a while as the coach of the Tigers basketball program.
During an interview on Tiger Talk podcast, Greene reassured that Pearl has done everything possible to be open about the FBI investigation into the basketball program that resulted in the dismissal of assistant coach Chuck Person and players Austin Wiley and Danjel Purifoy having to sit out the 2017-18 season.
“The FBI investigation is a long process and we’re going through that process to make sure that we as a university are doing what it is that we’re supposed to do to comply,” Greene said. “Coach Pearl has been excellent in that regard, and I look forward to continuing to work with him as we continue to do the very best that we can to support he, his staff and the student-athletes of Auburn University.”
Pearl, who was given a show-cause penalty after committing NCAA violations at Tennessee that led to his dismissal, has been mostly quiet on the investigation, especially with Steven Leath, the president of Auburn University, who has signaled frustration with Pearl’s lack of cooperation, but has said on a few occasions that he expects to be back as the head coach next season.
While Greene expressed his support of Pearl, he showed that he is still upset that Auburn is in this position in the beginning.
“We want to work incredibly hard to make sure that we clean up the game, that it is as pure as it can possibly can so that our student-athletes can enjoy the experience and the intercollegiate athletic experience,” Greene said. “One of the things that we have to keep in mind is that the state of college basketball is not in a good place right now and I’m a little bit disappointed obviously that Auburn basketball is involved in that, but that doesn’t take away from the excellent job that coach Pearl has done.”
Pearl led the Tigers to a 26-8 record this season, winning a share of the SEC regular season title and earning a No. 4seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Greene went on to talk about the other attributes that Pearl has brought to the basketball program, including in the academic area.
“You think about our basketball program, we’ve got the highest Academic Progress Rate in program history, we have eight student-athletes with 3.0 GPA and coach Pearl is enthusiastic an as welcoming and exciting as he is, he’s been a tremendous blessing for the Auburn family.”
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