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In the latest blow to University of Tennessee Athletics, head basketball coach Bruce Pearl, along with the entire basketball staff, will be taking pay cuts following an NCAA investigation into recruiting violations by the program.

The University of Tennessee has imposed sanctions on Pearl for providing false and misleading information to the NCAA during an investigation into illegal contact with recruits.

The NCAA has been investigating Tennessee for excessive phone calls and the use of unauthorized phones to contact recruits. Pearl lied and mislead investigators during the probe.

Among the school’s self-imposed penalties for Pearl and his staff:

* A $1.5 million reduction in pay for Bruce Pearl over the length of his contract, which expires in 2015. The reduction proceeds progressively; Pearl will give up almost $1.1 million over the next two years, and he will not receive a scheduled retention bonus of $500,000 in 2012.

* A series of pay cuts for Pearl’s staff, including assistant coaches Tony Jones, Steve Forbes, and Jason Shay.

* And, in what could be the most important penalty for Tennessee’s on-court performance, Pearl will be prohibited from any off campus recruiting activities from Sept. 24, 2010 to Sept. 24, 2011.

During a press conference on Friday, Pearl was apologetic, saying he let the players and the fans down.

On top of the self-inflicted restrictions, the Vols are awaiting news of additional sanction the NCAA may impose.

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