Pearl ouster becomes clearer, murkier

March 22, 2011

4.  Multiple sources close to Tennessee’s program had leaked in recent days that UT had gotten some form of heads-up as to its future with Pearl as compared to its future without Pearl.  It was believed by most that UT was choosing the lesser of two evils after trying to keep Pearl in place.  (That attempt might result in stiffer sanctions.)  And that could still be the case.

But it’s not supposed to be the case.  Andrew Gribble of The Sentinel — who has done great work at both The Opelika-Auburn News and now The Sentinel, by the way — reports that communication between the COI and a school’s compliance department is forbidden.  The attorney Ermert said: “It is unlikely that the university will be told “If you do A, B, and C, then you don’t have to worry about D, E and F.”

That is exactly the story that multiple sources have been spinning, however.  So while the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions might not have gotten word to UT, it’s possible that someone with knowledge of the case (and past cases and past penalties) did give Tennessee officials a comparison of likely scenarios.

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