Donnie Tyndall Fired by Tennessee Basketball: Latest Details, Comments, Reaction

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured Columnist

Associated Press

After just one season at the helm as the University of Tennessee's head men's basketball coach, Donnie Tyndall is on the outs in Knoxville, the school announced on March 27, 2015.

Jimmy Hyams of WNML The Sports Animal first reported the 45-year-old coach was fired on March 25, 2015.

The NCAA was looking into potential rules violations that may have occurred during Tyndall's two-season run at Southern Mississippi prior to his tenure at Tennessee, per David Climer of the Tennessean.

According to Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com, Tyndall's possible violations were, in fact, the motivating factors behind his firing.

On April 8, 2016, the NCAA announced Tyndall has been hit with a 10-year "show-cause" penalty stemming from the rules violations:

Penalties in the case include three years of probation, a two-year postseason ban for the men’s basketball team, reductions in scholarships and recruiting opportunities, as well as show-cause orders for a number of individuals, including the former head coach. During the show-cause period, if any of the individuals are hired by an NCAA school, that school must follow the terms of each of their respective show-cause orders.

Grant Ramey of GoVolsXtra noted Tyndall had "deleted emails of NCAA interest," which was revealed "in the termination obtained by the News Sentinel."

"Tyndall’s six-year, $1.6 million contract allows UT to fire Tyndall for cause—meaning it avoids a $3 million buyout—if Tyndall committed Level I or Level II NCAA violations at UT or another NCAA institution," reported the Knoxville News Sentinel, via newsok.com.

"It is disappointing that we have to take this action," athletic director Dave Hart said, per Parrish. "It is highly likely that Coach Tyndall will face significant penalties at the conclusion of the NCAA's infractions process. We believe this decision is in the best interests of the University of Tennessee."

Tyndall led the Vols to a 16-16 record in 2014-15, down from 24 wins in coach Cuonzo Martin's last season. They dominated their way through three rounds of the NCAA tournament in 2013-14 before falling to Michigan in the Sweet 16. Under Tyndall, they didn't even make the first cut.

After hiring former Texas head coach Rick Barnes to replace Tyndall, it's safe to say Tennessee has added sensibility when it comes to potential NCAA sanctions, since that is what led to Bruce Pearl's firing in 2011.

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