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The Latest: Auburn coach says behavior behind arrest wrong

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – The Latest on the corruption scandal in college basketball (all times Eastern):

3:45 p.m.

Auburn coach Bruce Pearl says the behavior behind the arrest of his top assistant “is unacceptable.”

Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl speaks during an NCAA college basketball press conference, Friday, Sept. 29, 2017, in Auburn, Ala. Pearl spoke to reporters for the first time since top assistant Chuck Person’s arrest as part of a federal fraud and bribery sting. (Albert Cesare/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)

Pearl deflected questions beyond that on Friday as he spoke with reporters for the first time about the Tuesday arrest of associated head coach Chuck Person on federal fraud and bribery charges.

Auburn has suspended Person without pay.

Pearl says he stands by the university’s initial statement on the matter, saying: “I can’t and I won’t have any further comment.”

Pearl wanted instead to talk about his team, which opened practice on Friday. He was repeatedly asked about the federal investigation and each time declined comment or answered with talk about the season instead.

Person was among 10 people arrested in the corruption case, including four college assistant coaches and an Adidas executive. He’s accused of receiving $91,500 in bribes to steer Auburn players to financial advisor Martin Blazer and tailor Rashan Michel once they turn pro.

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2:20 p.m.

South Carolina’s athletic director says its men’s basketball program is not a target of a federal fraud and bribery scandal that led to the arrest of a former assistant.

Gamecocks athletic director Ray Tanner says even with the complaints from the Department of Justice, the school still plans its own review.

Tanner said in a statement that South Carolina will hire an independent group that specializes in NCAA matters to review any issues that came up with Lamont Evans, the school and the federal investigation.

Evans was an assistant for South Carolina under coach Frank Martin from 2012 to 2014. Martin hired him for his first job as a student assistant at Kansas State in 2008 and kept him as a graduate manager until he came to South Carolina.

Martin led South Carolina to its first Final Four last season.

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1:30 p.m.

Ousted Louisville coach Rick Pitino tells a radio host in a text message that he is sad and misses his players as they begin practice for a season already marred by a federal probe that alleged corruption in the school’s basketball program and others in the sport.

Pitino is on unpaid administrative leave, though his lawyer says the coach was “effectively fired” after court documents said money was funneled from Adidas to the family of a recruit. Pitino was not named but was already under scrutiny for a sex scandal that landed Louisville’s hoops program on NCAA probation.

Pitino told WHAS-AM radio host Terry Meiners in a text: “This weekend will be the saddest . So many years of opening day of practice.” Meiners posted the text on Twitter, saying he had permission from Pitino to share the sentiments.

Louisville was one of seven universities described in three complaints that resulted in the arrests this week of four assistant coaches, an Adidas executive and several others.

Louisville also put athletic director Tom Jurich on paid administrative leave.

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For more AP college basketball coverage: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl speaks during an NCAA college basketball press conference, Friday, Sept. 29, 2017, in Auburn, Ala. Pearl spoke to reporters for the first time since top assistant Chuck Person's arrest as part of a federal fraud and bribery sting. (Albert Cesare/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)

Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl speaks during an NCAA college basketball press conference, Friday, Sept. 29, 2017, in Auburn, Ala. Pearl spoke to reporters for the first time since top assistant Chuck Person’s arrest as part of a federal fraud and bribery sting. (Albert Cesare/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)

Lamont Evans, an assistant basketball coach at Oklahoma State University, leaves the federal courthouse following a court appearance in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. Evans is facing federal charges in conjunction with a wide probe of fraud and corruption in the NCAA. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Lamont Evans, an assistant basketball coach at Oklahoma State University, leaves the federal courthouse following a court appearance in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. Evans is facing federal charges in conjunction with a wide probe of fraud and corruption in the NCAA. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

These file photos show assistant basketball coaches, from left, Tony Bland Chuck Person, Emanuel Richardson and Lamont Evans.  The four were identified in court papers and are among 10 people facing federal charges in Manhattan federal court, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, in a wide probe of fraud and corruption in the NCAA, authorities said. (AP Photo/File)

These file photos show assistant basketball coaches, from left, Tony Bland Chuck Person, Emanuel Richardson and Lamont Evans. The four were identified in court papers and are among 10 people facing federal charges in Manhattan federal court, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, in a wide probe of fraud and corruption in the NCAA, authorities said. (AP Photo/File)

University of Louisville interim President Greg Postel, right, speaks as the university's Director of Media Relations John Karman listens during a press conference Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, in Louisville, Ky. Louisville announced Wednesday that they have placed basketball coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich on administrative leave amid a federal bribery investigation.  Jurich is on paid leave, while Pitino is on unpaid leave.  (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

University of Louisville interim President Greg Postel, right, speaks as the university’s Director of Media Relations John Karman listens during a press conference Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, in Louisville, Ky. Louisville announced Wednesday that they have placed basketball coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich on administrative leave amid a federal bribery investigation. Jurich is on paid leave, while Pitino is on unpaid leave. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino leaves Grawemeyer Hall after having a meeting with the university's interim president Greg Postel, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, in Louisville. Ky. Louisville announced Wednesday that they have placed Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich on administrative leave amid a federal bribery investigation. (Michael Clevenger/The Courier-Journal via AP)

Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino leaves Grawemeyer Hall after having a meeting with the university’s interim president Greg Postel, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, in Louisville. Ky. Louisville announced Wednesday that they have placed Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich on administrative leave amid a federal bribery investigation. (Michael Clevenger/The Courier-Journal via AP)

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