Scandals in College Sports

Text: Ben Glicksman
Photo: Todd Rosenberg/Getty Images

Bruce Pearl's Phone Call

Long before he became Tennessee's head coach, Bruce Pearl was embroiled in controversy as an assistant at the University of Iowa. Pearl, with a slew of other schools, was bidding for the services of top-ranked recruit Deon Thomas, a 6-9 forward and Chicago native. Pearl may have lost the battle -- Thomas committed to Illinois -- but he didn't lose the war. The feisty coach recorded a phone conversation in which Thomas indicated he'd received cash and an SUV from the Fighting Illini, blatant violations of NCAA policy. Though subsequent investigations never turned up substantiating evidence, Illinois was still reprimanded. The program was slapped with a one-year postseason ban for a "lack of institutional control."

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