Bruce Pearl, UWM reported '04 violation

Updated: October 5, 2010, 3:54 PM ET
By Dana O'Neil and Pat Forde | ESPN.com

When Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl reportedly invited top junior recruits to his Knoxville, Tenn., home in fall of 2008, violating NCAA rules, it wasn't the first time he crossed that line.

Kevin Fitzgerald, the compliance director at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee -- where Pearl previously coached -- confirmed that the university self-reported a violation on Aug. 19, 2004, after "Coach Pearl invited a prospect [and his parents] to his daughter's graduation party hosted at his house, a violation of 13.05.5.3."

Pearl
Pearl

Fitzgerald would not name the recruit.

However, multiple sources told ESPN.com that the recruit in question was Mike Schachtner, then a junior at Somerset (Wis.) High School.

NCAA rules prohibit coaches from meeting with high school juniors at off-campus sites.

When reached by telephone, Schachtner, who is currently playing professionally in Romania, refused to confirm or deny whether he had been at Pearl's home.

Schachtner ended up committing to Green Bay later in the month. He graduated from Green Bay in 2009 after scoring more than 1,500 points in his career.

"My parents and I have come to an agreement that we wouldn't like to get involved in this," Schachtner said. "I know the worst public thing to do is to say no comment, but we don't want to get involved at this time."

Reached by telephone, Pearl refused comment.

A Horizon League source confirmed to ESPN.com that Wisconsin-Milwaukee self-reported a "secondary violation involving Bruce Pearl and Mike Schachtner and the Schachtner family in 2004."

When asked about the situation, Green Bay athletic director Ken Bothof only would say, "I had a conversation with Tod [referencing former head coach Tod Kowalczyk] about how to handle a situation with a coach," but would not offer specifics.

Kowalczyk declined comment.

Through assistant sports information director Tom Satkowiak, the University of Tennessee declined comment.

Amanda Braun, Green Bay's compliance director at the time who is now at Northeastern, also declined to comment.

The case involving Schachtner mirrors that of Josh Selby and Aaron Craft, who according to several reports, visited Pearl's house during their junior seasons. The NCAA reportedly even has a photograph of Craft at the coach's house.

According to the Knoxville News-Sentinel and CBSSports.com, Pearl initially denied that Craft had been at his home but later requested a second interview and admitted the violation.

"Hell no, I wasn't surprised by that," a source involved with the Schachtner situation said of the Craft news. "It's the same thing."

Tennessee already has reported several secondary violations involving excessive phone calls and hotel payments, and Pearl admitted in September that he misled investigators.

The university announced self-imposed sanctions in mid-September, including a $1.5 million cut in Pearl's pay and prohibiting him from recruiting on the road for one year, and said it has received a letter of inquiry from the NCAA.

The school is still awaiting a notice of allegations. The NCAA is investigating Tennessee's football, basketball and baseball programs and may combine the investigations into one notice.

Dana O'Neil covers college basketball for ESPN.com and can be reached at espnoneil@live.com. Pat Forde is a senior writer for ESPN.com and can be reached at espn4d@aol.com.

Dana O'Neil | email

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