Auburn Basketball Off To Poor Start
College basketball's season is just on the horizon but there is already trouble surrounding the Auburn basketball program.
The Tigers' announced this week that they would not participate in post season activities in order to try to appease and mitigate any further punishment by the NCAA. This news was followed up by a report that Auburn's best recruit, Sharife Cooper, had not been practicing with the team and was considering a move to an international professional team.
Auburn self-imposes a one-year postseason ban after allegations of impropriety arose involving former assistant basketball coach Chuck Person. Person was accused of taking bribes and even paying families of student athletes as a part of the 2017-18 NCAA Basketball Corruption Scandal. Person was suspended without pay and then subsequently fired shortly after the allegations were made public.
Bruce Pearl got 5-star point guard Sharife Cooper to sign with the Auburn Tigers during his senior season at McEachern High School in Marietta, Georgia. Cooper enrolled in Auburn in June but has yet to be cleared to compete by the NCAA, the Auburn Tigers are scheduled to tip-off on Thanksgiving Day.
Cooper has been rumored to be considering his options overseas instead of playing guard for Pearl's Tigers. He could be inspired by this year's No. 3 overall draft pick LaMelo Ball, Ball had NCAA issues and opted instead to play Australian-league basketball for two seasons for the Illawara Hawks.
Pearl is hopeful that Auburn will have a ruling on Cooper's status soon as he wants to use his promising guard as quickly as possible. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic this year's college basketball season will be shorter, making it more important to bond as a team as soon as possible.