Tennessee fires Donnie Tyndall amid NCAA investigation
According to the termination of employment agreement given to Tyndall, the firing is effective March 31. He is on administrative leave until that date.
CBSSports.com’s Gary Parrish first reported that Tyndall would not return to the school next season.
Tyndall met with NCAA representatives in November concerning reports that players at his previous school, Southern Mississippi, received extra benefits, such as tuition, living expenses and other fees.
According to the Knoville News Sentinel, Tyndall also met with NCAA investigators on March 16.
CBS Sports reported that the NCAA informed Tennessee officials on Thursday of the list of violations it plans to impose against Tyndall in the near future.
The school said that Tyndall is "highly likely to be found responsible for serious violations of NCAA rules" at another institution.
The employment agreement said Tyndall admitted to deleting emails from a Southern Miss account that he still had access to that could have been used in the NCAA investigation. The school said at minimum the deleted emails "created an appearance of significant impropriety."
"It is disappointing that we have to take this action." Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart said. "It is highly likely that Coach Tyndall will face significant penalties at the conclusion of the NCAA's infractions process. We believe that this decision is in the best interests of the University of Tennessee."
Tyndall was hired last April by Tennessee to take over the basketball program after compiling a 56-17 record in two seasons at Southern Miss, taking the school to two NIT appearances. He replaced Cuonzo Martin, who took the head coaching job at California.
Tennessee went 16-16 in 2014-15, including a 7-11 record in the Southeastern Conference.
According to Tyndall's contract with Tennessee, should he be fired for cause or if the NCAA finds that he committed a Level I or Level II violation at either Southern Miss or at Tennessee, the school would not have to pay the remainder of his contract.
He had a $3 million buyout with the school and was signed a six-year deal, worth $1.6 million a season when he was hired.
- Scooby Axson