Auburn basketball coach Bruce Pearl hasn’t gone into many details about the internal investigation into his program in the wake of Chuck Person’s arrest on federal corruption charges.
In a sit-down interview on ESPN’s College GameDay that was played Saturday morning, Pearl didn’t divulge more of those details, but he sent a message that he’s confident he’ll still be the Tigers’ coach when the situation is resolved.
“We complied enough to still be here,” Pearl told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman. “I think so many times, when you have an internal investigation, it should be internal. Again, I wouldn’t be here coaching if there were greater problems.”
Pearl reportedly wasn’t cooperating with Auburn’s internal investigation earlier this season, which created a rift between the coach and school administration — most notably, school president Steven Leath. Pearl has since cooperated.
In September, Pearl’s top assistant, Person, was arrested as part of a nationwide FBI sting into corrupt practices inside college basketball. Earlier this week, Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports reported the case would drastically impact the entire sport, and he told Paul Finebaum he didn’t expect Pearl to be Auburn’s coach next season.
When Goodman asked Pearl what he knew about Person’s actions, he provided little comment other than that he feels he’ll still be at Auburn.
“Chuck called me that morning, and he told me briefly what happened,” Pearl said. “I was shocked. We don’t know what’s true or what isn’t true. We know what’s alleged. And unfortunately, Chuck’s fired, I’ve got two assistants that have been put on paid administrative leave, Danjel [Purifoy] and Austin [Wiley] don’t have their eligibility for this year, and the university has put itself under a very strong investigation to try to go through this process.
“Basically, because we still have an ongoing investigation, I can’t really comment on that other than the fact that we’re working through the process. And I’m confident that when it’s all said and done, we’ll get through it, and I’ll still be the coach at Auburn.”