AUBURN, Ala. - Auburn head basketball coach Bruce Pearl Wednesday canceled his second press conference in as many days. He was supposed to meet with the media to discuss the start of the 2017 season, and now he's pulled out of a Thursday press conference in Birmingham to promote a December double header at the BJCC.
This comes after the arrest of associate head coach Chuck Person, who's facing six federal charges of bribery, fraud and conspiracy. The charges are a result of Person allegedly taking money to use his influence over student athletes to convince them to sign with a particular financial manager.
On the surface it sounds like something that might just be an NCAA violation, but Huntsville attorney Mark McDaniel says it became a federal matter once money exchanged hands.
"A state employee that's getting a salary, and that person takes a bribe from a financial adviser or agent to make sure a certain athlete uses him when they get in the NBA, that's a federal crime," McDaniel said. "That's fraud, then you have conspiracy to commit fraud. Then you get the wire fraud and mail fraud in there, because you used the phones, and wire transfers and stuff."
If Person is convicted on all six counts, he faces a maximum of 80 years in prison.