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News from around the SEC


Police search LSU QB Jefferson’s apartment

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Authorities say they searched the apartment of LSU starting quarterback Jordan Jefferson in connection with a bar fight last week that injured four people, the most seriously injured victim has three broken vertebrae.

Baton Rouge Police Sgt. Don Stone says the warrant was obtained Wednesday and Jefferson was home during the search.

Stone says Jefferson cooperated while his attorney also looked on, but the quarterback wasn’t questioned by investigators at the scene.

Investigators left with several bags of evidence, which Stone says could help prove or disprove allegations against Jefferson. Stone says he cannot say what was taken at this time.

Jefferson is one of four LSU players identified by police as people of interest in the investigation, which authorities say could result in arrests on charges as serious as felony second-degree battery.

NCAA hits Bruce Pearl with 3-year penalty

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The NCAA said it wanted to send a clear message by slapping Bruce Pearl with a three-year show-cause penalty: Coaches are responsible for their programs.

The sanctions mean it will be harder for the former Tennessee men’s basketball coach to get another college job anytime soon. Before hiring Pearl, a school must tell the NCAA why it wants him and be prepared to face its own penalties for giving him a job.

“As these allegations are becoming more and more regular, it’s very clear that a head coach is being held responsible for his program,” said Britton Banowsky, Conference USA commissioner and vice-chair of the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions.

The NCAA punished Pearl for lying to investigators about improperly hosting recruits at his home and urging others to do the same. Former Pearl assistants Tony Jones, Jason Shay and Steve Forbes face the same sanctions, except they were only given one-year show-cause penalties for their own roles in misleading the NCAA.

Tennessee will not face any sanctions beyond those self-imposed in response to the two-year investigation into recruiting by Pearl’s program and the football program under then-coach Lane Kiffin.

University officials had self-imposed a two-year probationary period, which begins Wednesday, and have placed additional recruiting restrictions on current basketball coach Cuonzo Martin and football coach Derek Dooley, neither of whom have been accused of any wrongdoing. Tennessee had previously docked the basketball staff’s pay, and the Southeastern Conference suspended Pearl from eight league games during the 2010-11 season.

Tennessee dismisses DB Janzen Jackson

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee coach Derek Dooley dismissed safety Janzen Jackson from the team on Wednesday as the junior’s personal issues had apparently become too much of a distraction.

Jackson withdrew from school in February to address personal issues but enrolled again in July and was reinstated to the Vols earlier this month as fall camp began. Dooley said after Tuesday’s practice that Jackson would remain with the team on a day-to-day basis.

Dooley did not specify what actions ultimately led to the Lake Charles, La., native’s dismissal on Wednesday.

“Our program has devoted a tremendous amount of energy, resources, support and care in an effort to help Janzen manage his personal challenges,” Dooley said. “I will always be there to help him as a person, but there comes a time when a player’s actions preclude him from the privilege of playing for the University of Tennessee football team.

“Although I’m disappointed with this outcome, we will never compromise the long-term organizational values and goals we maintain here at Tennessee,” he said.

Jackson made 69 tackles and had a team-high five interceptions in 2010 which led to 114 interception return yards. He had made 22 starts in 23 games over two seasons with the Vols and was expected to be a key part of the Volunteers’ secondary.

Dooley’s decision comes as the Vols wrap up fall practice. The team had a mock game scheduled for Wednesday night and planned to take a few days off before beginning preparation for the Sept. 3 opener against Montana.