Former Pearl assistant Steve Forbes lands job at Wichita State

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by Gary Parish

(UNDATED) -- Former Tennessee assistant Steve Forbes told on Monday that he has reached an agreement to join Gregg Marshall's staff at Wichita State. This development means Forbes is the first person from Bruce Pearl's staff at Tennessee to re-enter the NCAA.

An official announcement is expected this week.

"I was so excited and honored when coach Marshall asked me to join his staff," Forbes told "Coach Marshall is one of the top coaches in college basketball -- proving that with a historical run to the Final Four this past year. I have so much respect for him. In addition, I have a lifelong friendship with associate head coach Chris Jans and assistant coach Greg Heiar. So I'm thrilled to be working with such a talented staff and group of coaches that I have the utmost respect for."

Forbes is one of three former Tennessee assistants who was, along with Pearl, fired in March 2011 during an NCAA investigation rooted in a now infamous cookout Pearl held at his home in violation of NCAA bylaws.

Pearl was photographed at the cookout with Aaron Craft, a current star at Ohio State who was at the time a junior in high school and not allowed, according to NCAA bylaws, to be with Pearl anywhere off of the Tennessee campus. When presented with the photograph and asked about its origin by an NCAA investigator, Forbes and fellow assistants Jason Shay and Tony Jones essentially tried to cover for Pearl. They were caught off-guard and admittedly evasive. Consequently, each was given a one-year show-cause penalty that expired last August. Pearl was cited for unethical conduct and given a three-year show-cause penalty that will expire in August 2014. He's now an analyst for ESPN.

"I'm indebted to coach Marshall and the WSU administration for believing in me," said Forbes, who was, before Tennessee, an assistant at Illinois State, Louisiana Tech and Texas A&M.

Forbes spent the past two years coaching junior college at Northwest Florida State. The Iowa native led the Raiders to consecutive appearances in the national title game while posting a 62-6 record. His best player from those teams, Chris Jones, is set to enroll at Louisville and replace Peyton Siva as the Cardinals' starting point guard.

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