KNOXVILLE (NBC) – University of Tennessee Mens' Basketball  Head Coach Bruce Pearl will be suspended for the first eight games of the 2011 Southeastern Conference season, according to SEC Commissioner Mike Slive.

According to a press release, the violations that led to the suspension were discovered during an investigation by the NCAA into the University of Tennessee men's basketball program.  The results were reported to the SEC by the institution.

"The suspension from coaching duties has been imposed after a careful review of the facts established during the NCAA's investigation and reported to the SEC office," said Slive.  "I am extremely disappointed in the nature of the violations involving Coach Pearl and the Tennessee men's basketball program.  The penalty applied to this circumstance is significant, which is consistent with the directive approved by the SEC membership in 2010 granting the Commissioner authority to act in such cases."

As a result of the suspension, Pearl is suspended from all team activities on the dates of the following games:

  • Jan. 8, 2011         Tennessee at Arkansas
  • Jan. 11, 2011       Florida at Tennessee
  • Jan. 15, 2011       Vanderbilt at Tennessee
  • Jan. 18, 2011       Tennessee at Georgia
  • Jan. 26, 2011       LSU at Tennessee
  • Jan. 29, 2011       Tennessee at Ole Miss
  • Feb. 3, 2011        Tennessee at Auburn
  • Feb. 5, 2011        Alabama at Tennessee

Team activities include, but are not limited to practices, meetings, pre- and post-game activities and the game itself.            

At the 2010 SEC Annual Meeting, the Presidents & Chancellors of the conference reconfirmed that the Commissioner "has the authority to suspend institutional staff members from participation in recruiting activities or participation in practice and/or competition due to their involvement in violations of NCAA or SEC rules.