Hamilton, Pearl to discuss contract; statement expected today

Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton and men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl will begin talks this afternoon about Pearl's existing contract at UT.

Hamilton said Pearl has told him he is not interested in the Memphis coaching vacancy and is expected to issue a release this afternoon.

“Bruce is my coach and I trust him,'' Hamilton said. “We have shown in the past we will compensate him fairly and we will continue to compensate him fairly.

"I can tell you that I have no reason to believe Bruce Pearl is going to be anywhere other than Knoxville next year. He has told me he's not interested in anything else and I've got to take him at his word.''

UT officials said they are not aware of a report today by Memphis television station WMC that Pearl has been offered a seven-year, $21 million contract to fill the coaching vacancy at Memphis.

The Commercial Appeal reported on its Web site that Memphis officials are expected to officially ask for permission to talk to Pearl today.

Hamilton repeated Thursday that Memphis has not contacted him asking permission to talk with Pearl.

"I would deny them permission, but I don't necessarily think that means they're going to ask," said Hamilton. :The reality is that's kind of an archaic way of dealing with these changes in the last few years.''

But there are no stipulations in Pearl's contract that would enable Hamilton to deny Memphis access to talk with Pearl.

Memphis spokesman Bob Winn told the Associated Press he conferred with athletic director R.C. Johnson at approximately 10:30 a.m. Central Thursday morning about Pearl.

“To the questions of is he coming here to be interviewed and have we made an offer? No and No,” Winn said.

Pearl has not made public comments since Monday, when he indicated he was looking forward to the coming season with UT and competing with new Kentucky coach John Calipari, who left Memphis.

“It doesn't take much to get my batteries re-charged,'' Pearl said. “Not playing last weekend was enough.

“But this ... John Calipari will bring another level of energy to this league.''

Pearl is in Detroit today to introduce Louisville coach Rick Pitino as the Adolph Rupp national coach of the year Award winner.

Pearl won the award last year.

Hamilton has said he keeps a pulse on market value and is pleased with the job Pearl has done at UT.

Pearl makes $1.6 million per year and is due a $500,000 retention bonus next season.

Calipari just signed an eight-year deal at Kentucky that will pay him $3.7 million annually, Florida's Billy Donovan makes $3.5 million annually and Alabama recently hired Anthony Grant for a reported $2 million a year.

All indications are that Georgia is willing to pay its next coach in the $2 million range when it fills its coaching vacancy.

Grant's salary bumps Pearl from the third-highest paid coaching slot in the SEC – a salary position Pearl has said repeatedly he is comfortable with as UT's coach.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2009, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2009 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Stories

Related Links

Comments » 139

RoyaltyVol writes:

Now were talking!

murrayvol writes:

This week could be a Pearl.

The_the writes:

see ya!

ut_vols13 writes:

Keep Him. We need Bruce

Waldorf writes:
murrayvol writes:

I don't think Memphis is required to ask the UT Athletic Dept. to talk w/Pearl's agent.

RoyaltyVol writes:

in response to Waldorf:

http://www.volunteertv.com/home/headl...

Try again Tiger High.

That article eases my mind a bit, thanks!

golfballs03 writes:

Could Pearl be using Memphis to leverage himself a pay raise from UT?

RoyaltyVol writes:

in response to golfballs03:

Could Pearl be using Memphis to leverage himself a pay raise from UT?

I think you just hit the nail on the head!

MidTennVol writes:

Hamilton, do whatever you have to do to keep BP. Get him down on the floor and inject him with orange juice if you have to, just do whatever it takes.

RoyaltyVol writes:

Give him a 700,000 a year raise and a bonus and he should be happy!

RockyTop1_old writes:

I don't mind a bump in salary if he can get some of the Memphis commitments to come to Tennessee! Would that not chap Calipari's day!! GO VOLS!!

germantown902#555819 writes:

As fans, we're not used to having other programs go after our coaches because the demand hasn't been there for some time. We have a hot commodity in Pearl. We need to belly up. I, for one, am happy that we have a coach someone else wants. Pay the man.

tailgate2k#204921 writes:

http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/...

hammy is going to have to step up

kabzs writes:

UT needs to take it's share from the ESPN/CBS deals with the SEC and pay Pearl $3M+ per year on a long term deal. There is now plenty of money that will create coaches' wage inflation for football and basketball in the SEC. The ESPN deal was for $2.25 Billion (that's $205M for each of 15 years). CBS football contract is $55M per year.

My forcast is that we will have the best coaches in both major sports contnue to migrate to this conference.

hookkick writes:

I hear someone reaching for the check book.

crappieking writes:

GET OFF YOUR AZZ HAMILTON. 1.6M ISN'T GOING TO CUT IT. THANKS TO UK. PAY THE MAN, KEEP BRUCE HERE. GO VOLS!!!!!!

Carlitovol writes:

in response to tailgate2k#204921:

http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/...

hammy is going to have to step up

Crazy! So it looks like the earlier reported contract offer was bogus.. But apparently they are making a serious push for a meeting with Bruce..

This is nuts...

db11_cn writes:

I suppose columnists are paid to do "speculative journalism" which is what I would categorize the Memphis prose. Memphis fans have the red-butt over losing their rock star and are venting their anger by whipping up discussion about Bruce. I know of no one who takes a coaching job at Memphis and it's a move "up". Coaches wind up at Memphis . . . including Calipari when he was hired. True, he's built the program into what it is today, and the new hire will inherit something no previous coach has. But keeping it there will be too much to accomplish.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

It is rumoured the deal includes armed security for any night time activity.

swordandshield27#325334 writes:

Rich I agree....ever since they came out and said we are going for a wow factor and it was the majority of boosters talking...they have come across as complete good ol' boy busch league. There have been some intelligent posts from Tiger fans, however, the ones in charge are creating a PR nightmare even Tom Cruise's publicist can't fix.

bobbarbilly writes:

There could be some money in the president's stimulus package to cover coach raises.

imw8n4u writes:

I love Bruce and really want him to stay, but I'm also getting tired of this every time a job comes up.

crappieking writes:

in response to IdentityTheftVictim09:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Thanks Rich. I live in Memphis. Didn't realize we were #2. Pine Bluff, AR isn't too far either. Great.

TrouserCough writes:

How can a high school pay their coach 21 mill?

HtownVol writes:

He wont take the Memphis coaching job, but he really needs to take some of the Memphis recruits! If he wants to get to the level of the top teams in the country he needs to start getting the top recruits in the country to play at UT!

Pullingguard writes:

in response to golfballs03:

Could Pearl be using Memphis to leverage himself a pay raise from UT?

No, dont think so, because he will probably get some finiacial bump anyway,.. But from 1.2 to over 3 million is pretty hefty... If he makes the trip to Memphis for an interview believe we can kiss him goodby...His going to Memphis after what Hamilton has said would put them both in a box..

johnlg00 writes:

in response to imw8n4u:

I love Bruce and really want him to stay, but I'm also getting tired of this every time a job comes up.

Get used to it. That's the price we pay for having a successful coach. Or would you rather have a coach NO ONE wants?

CHS52VOL writes:

Good, proactive move on AD Hamilton's part. Coach Pearl should be one of the top 2-3 coaches in the SEC re: salary. Sure hope he is not interested in the Memphis job, and that he is at UT for many years.

aurora0317 writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Get used to it. That's the price we pay for having a successful coach. Or would you rather have a coach NO ONE wants?

Isn't CPF still looking for a job??

..Sorry, low blow. Couldn't resist.

Vol_Jokes writes:

Looks like Pearl is pulling a Coach Cal on you guys. "I'm not interested. I'm not going anywhere" In the meantime the Commercial Appeal is now reporting that he will be in Memphis today or tommorrow for an interview. Evidently someone with inside info. found out about the 7 year 21 mil offer. Guess it just depends on what UT will offer. Either way Pearl wins.

largeandincharge writes:

does anyone know about the players that are there? are they allowed to leave and go somewhere else since their pathetic coach left without sitting out a year. what is the ruling on this?

missrvrvol writes:

Talked with some friends who are Tiger fans. They do not seriously beleive Pearl would come to Memphis. They they Tiger boosters are just trying to show the nation they are serious abiout the position. Most of the Tiger people I know think they will go after Scott Drew at Baylor. That would get John Wall to Memphis.

missrvrvol writes:

in response to missrvrvol:

Talked with some friends who are Tiger fans. They do not seriously beleive Pearl would come to Memphis. They they Tiger boosters are just trying to show the nation they are serious abiout the position. Most of the Tiger people I know think they will go after Scott Drew at Baylor. That would get John Wall to Memphis.

Should be they think...

bfrank78 writes:

pearlvert is definitely using the Memphis opening as leverage to get more money. I hope he stays in knox. He can't coach, has no integrity, and is an underachiever (so he's right at home). He would set the Memphis program back decades.

missrvrvol writes:

in response to marc_ash#231781:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Be careful...stoner may want you to show some links....LOL...

Carlitovol writes:

I find it interesting that ESPN hasn't picked up on this story at all - even on the CBB page. IMO, this is pretty big news since it involves Memphis. I could see us getting overlooked, but Memphis tends to be more of an ESPN/media darling..

Thoughts anyone??

memphis_vol_fan writes:

in response to bfrank78:

pearlvert is definitely using the Memphis opening as leverage to get more money. I hope he stays in knox. He can't coach, has no integrity, and is an underachiever (so he's right at home). He would set the Memphis program back decades.

We'll be glad to keep him. Oh, BTW, it was Calipari who set the Memphis program back decades.

Carlitovol writes:

Not only that, but Pearl is a big name on the national stage..

dma38256#264746 writes:

Whatever it takes to keep Pearl in Knoxville.....He's the best thing that's happened to UT since the General...

missrvrvol writes:

in response to marc_ash#231781:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yea...I actually know the dude. He is an ok guy and a big UT fan...he just likes to get under peoples skin, you were just the unlucky target. He is harmless.

Carlitovol writes:

in response to bfrank78:

pearlvert is definitely using the Memphis opening as leverage to get more money. I hope he stays in knox. He can't coach, has no integrity, and is an underachiever (so he's right at home). He would set the Memphis program back decades.

No integrity?! does Marcus Camby ring a bell? LOL..

The whole reason UK didn't go after Calipari 2 years ago is because the AD was concerned about Cal's shady past..

After a boneheaded hire in Billy G, the Cats (more specifically, Barnhardt the AD) are desperate and it's obvious. Apparently Cal's dirty recruiting habits are worth the risk to UK.. We'll just have to wait and see...

rockytoplady writes:

in response to bfrank78:

pearlvert is definitely using the Memphis opening as leverage to get more money. I hope he stays in knox. He can't coach, has no integrity, and is an underachiever (so he's right at home). He would set the Memphis program back decades.

Numbers don't lie, so yes, Bruce can coach. Check your facts. There is no reason to doubt his integrity and numbers also show he is hardly an underachiever. Before you spout off, please have something intelligent to say.

Carlitovol writes:

in response to marc_ash#231781:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I think you probably hit the nail on the head...

VolJunkie writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Bones never lie.

;)

Vol_Jokes writes:

Ha ha ha.. 2 elite 8's and a championship game and the only team in the usa to make the last 4 sweet 16's really set us back. Some of the most ignorant comments on here.
One says Memphis is only using the Pearl thing to show the nation they are serious... give me a break and then they say we'll go after the baylor coach in order to get wall. Sure.. hir a coach based on getting one player for one season.

I've heard Pearl was seen in a restaurant wearing a Tiger hat. He had on a shirt that said Vols and he had written under it in magic marker........ i'm outta here. He was sitting with 4 of the big recruits Memphis was to get and they were all laughing and having a great time. He kept waving some piece of paper over his head that said something like ... 21 million. There was a dart board nearby and it was orange with UT in the middle and he asked for some darts and went over and threw about 5 darts at it.
Kept asking the band in the place to play the U of M fight song...one more time. Sure doesn't look good for UT

missrvrvol writes:

in response to marc_ash#231781:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

LOL...Nice....

Waldorf writes:

Is Sexton Pearl's agent? Because this reeks of Sexton maneuvers to get his clients a raise.

If indeed he is, I wonder who this insider "source" was......

johnlg00 writes:

in response to marc_ash#231781:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You usually have good stuff, Marc, but isn't CBP in DETROIT giving that award? In fact, I think that's what you said on one of your own posts. Furthermore, aren't nearly ALL the D-I coaches in Detroit this week? Don't they have a big convention in conjunction with the Final Four? I'm not positive which is why all these are in question form, but that is what I have always heard.

missrvrvol writes:

According to WBIR, Chris Low (ESPN.com) is now reporting the UM is going to make an offer, but he believes Pearl will position UT to upgrade assistants salaries and facilities.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features