2 free tickets given to Tennessee players' mother

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Former Tennessee director of basketball operations Ken Johnson provided two free tickets to the mother of an athlete in March. The secondary violation ultimately played a role in his firing and the firing of coach Bruce Pearl and his staff.

Tennessee detailed the violation in a March 25 letter to the Southeastern Conference released to The Associated Press on Monday. The name of the athlete was blacked out.

The letter says Johnson provided the tickets after receiving a call a few hours before the Volunteers' March 6 game with Kentucky from someone "desperately trying to find two tickets." The letter says Johnson said he was not directed by any other staff member to provide the tickets.

Pearl and his staff were fired March 21.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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  • by Jill Beeler Location: Knoxville on Apr 12, 2011 at 08:32 AM
    This is the silliest "violation" I have ever heard of. Two free tickets brought down Coach Pearl and his staff? Ridiculous. I would have bought her the tickets and kept our coach.
  • by Gary Location: VA on Apr 12, 2011 at 04:43 AM
    This whole situation continues to make it more and more clear that the AD had it in for Pearl. Why is he still at the school? The violation occurred under his watch. This storey says that the staffer stated that no one made him give the tickets to a player's mother, why isn't this a violation? Has the coach at Butler been fired? A player's whole family had their expenses paid to go to a final four game. Why isn't that a violation?

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