AUBURN | Bruce Pearl opened with a statement and that was about it in regards to the arrest by the FBI of Auburn assistant coach Chuck Person during a 10-minute session with the media Friday.
“Let me just say up front that my only comments on this matter are twofold. One I stand by the statement the university issued on Tuesday and two, that the conduct alleged in the criminal complaint is unacceptable,” Pearl said.
Jay G. Tate/AuburnSports.com
Pearl was asked repeatedly about the status of his coaching staff, his future and the two players that allegedly accepted money, but mostly referred back to his original statement.
He did confirm that all the players will be participating in Friday’s first preseason practice. Pearl also said he’s tried to maintain communication with his players, their families and recruits during the last few days.
“I would say that we just tried to be as much as we possibly could, as far as our communication, available and try to be as much as we could business as usual,” he said.
Person was arrested by the FBI Tuesday as part of a large-scale sting operation that has already resulted in the firings of Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich and head coach Rick Pitino.
Person was charged with six counts of fraud and accused of accepting bribes totaling $91,500 in exchange for steering players to sign with a financial advisor.
When asked near the end of his press conference if the word unacceptable is strong enough to describe his feelings, Pearl wouldn’t budge.
“Guys, I appreciate it and I do recognize it. I recognize and I do respect the job you guys have to do, and what I would ask is just the reason why we’re having this press conference right now is really it’s the start of practice, and that’s what my focus is going to be,” he said.