The Tigers reportedly took measures into their own hands after a former assistant coach was arrested but did not disclose the sanctions.
The Auburn men's basketball program reportedly self-imposed severe sanctions from Sept. 2017–April 2018 which were kept quiet until now, according to AL.com's Sam Blum. During that time, the Tigers did not conduct any recruiting, according to the report. While the sanctions only mandated restricted recruiting efforts, no visits, contacts, phone calls or evaluations at all were made during that span, the university's athletics department told AL.com.
The decision to self-impose such sanctions was made in light of Auburn assistant Chuck Person's Sept. 2017 arrest in connection with the FBI's investigation into the college corruption and fraud scheme. The team previously, publicly and proactively held out Danjel Purifoy and Austin Wiley for the entire 2017-18 season (Purifoy was also held out an additional nine games the next season) but did not, at the time, announce any additional measures being taken.
Person was one of four assistant coaches charged by the FBI. The Tigers reportedly self-imposed the sanctions in the immediate months following Person's arrest. The former assistant has since pleaded guilty and been sentenced in the bribery scheme, but avoided prison time.
Auburn did not have any true freshman scholarship players on last year's roster when the team made a run to the Final Four, but rebounded with a top-20 2019 recruiting class after the sanction window ended. Although the Tigers took steps to self-sanction, the school is still expecting to receive a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA, which could carry further punishment.
“I am anticipating that we are not finished completely,” head coach Bruce Pearl said on Jon Rothstein's podcast. “I am anticipating because we have gotten through a lot of things with the NCAA, obviously with the federal government, that case is closed. But I would [anticipate] that we would have to finish some things up. I do feel like the worst is behind us.”
According to AL.com, the school has not yet received said notice.