(NEW YORK) — Bruce Pearl is set to become the next basketball head coach at Auburn, the school confirmed on Tuesday.
Pearl received a six-year deal, reports ESPN.com.
“I’m humbled and blessed to be back in the game that I love,” Pearl said in a statement. “I don’t know how long it will take, but it’s time to rebuild the Auburn basketball program and bring it to a level of excellence so many of the other teams on campus enjoy.”
Pearl was fired by Tennessee back in 2011 for lying to the NCAA regarding his recruitment of Aaron Craft and was handed a three-year show cause by the NCAA.
“It’s a good fit,” Pearl told ESPN.com. “They haven’t been able to do it consistently in men’s basketball. The league is on the upswing. I’m hoping I can get the program to join the upper division. We’ve got to get more than three teams in the NCAA tournament. That’s a fact. I look forward to being part of the process.”
NCAA spokeswoman Emily James said Auburn has 30 days to file a report to the Committee on Infractions to either contest or accept the show-cause contract.
“I’ve thought about this a great deal, and obviously so has Coach Pearl,” Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs said on Tuesday. “I believe people who are genuine and sincere deserve second chances. If I did not believe Coach Pearl’s apologies were sincere and heartfelt, I would not have even considered him.”
Auburn has not been to the March Madness tournament since 2003.
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Jill Martin, CNN