AUBURN, Ala. — Bruce Pearl met with local media members Wednesday afternoon, hours after an ESPN report claimed the Auburn basketball coach’s job was in jeopardy if he doesn’t cooperate with the school’s investigation into his program.
Pearl said that “everyone” was trying to get Auburn’s players eligible. Sophomores Austin Wiley and Danjel Purifoy are being held out indefinitely due to concerns about their eligibility following former assistant coach Chuck Person’s arrest on corruption charges.
“This is an ongoing investigation,” Pearl said. “Everybody is working to try to get our players certified and eligible. It’s a process. And you guys know from the very beginning, I’m not allowed to comment on the process. But we are definitely working through this.”
ESPN reported “a decision on [Pearl’s] future will be made in the next week or two.” When asked how he felt about his immediate job security Wednesday, Pearl said his feelings had not changed.
“I am not concerned… I am no more concerned than anybody else,” Pearl said. “We’ve got to get through this investigation, and I’m just looking forward to Friday night.”
Auburn basketball opens the season Friday night against Norfolk State at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT. The Tigers lost an exhibition in overtime to Division II school Barry last Thursday, the day Wiley and Purifoy were ruled out indefinitely.
Wiley returned to practice this week for the Tigers, and he worked with the first team Wednesday. Purifoy stayed on the scout team.
“Their status hasn’t changed,” Pearl said. “Every day, we’re going through this process. Interviews and things like that. It is moving along at a pretty quick pace. But right now, there’s no change in their status.”