Pearl tells PTI 'I didn't' flirt with Memphis

When the hosts of ESPN's Pardon the Interruption asked Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl on Friday to what extent he flirted with Memphis for its coaching vacancy, he responded simply, "I didn't."

On Thursday, Pearl received a renegotiated six-year contract. It came hours after reports surfaced that Memphis wanted to talk to Pearl.

"I didn't want it to go any further than it had to," Pearl added. "I knew they were looking for a coach and that it was important for Memphis to get as high profile as they possibly could. I love Tennessee and Tennessee is where I want to stay. (athletic director) Mike Hamilton made that possible."

Pearl also responded to the notion that coaching salaries are becoming too high, in light of NCAA President Myles Brand's recent statement along those lines.

"I think he might be right," Pearl said. "At the same time, I wonder what his salary is at the NCAA. I think it's pretty significant.

"I've said this before: I'm 49 years old. For 45 years I was an assistant coach, I was a Division II head coach for nine years. I worked my way up the ladder, I paid my dues. This is a great country and a land of opportunity.

"Tremendous things are expected of me. I'm expected to win and be successful, and there is no security.

"It's not like a teach that's got tenure. I'd take less if I knew I was going to be there, even if I wasn't a good teacher."

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Comments » 82

tennezz writes:

Way to go Coach Pearl. We look forward to many happy years with you as coach! I think you made a wise decision for both you and UT!

MrBamSeydu writes:

So he was an assistant coach when he was negative-5 years old??? That man's got experience.

Jankypoo writes:

in response to MrBamSeydu:

So he was an assistant coach when he was negative-5 years old??? That man's got experience.

I really hope you got the joke about his age...

scottmichaelmoore#540590 writes:

I would love to meet the copy editor for this page....oh...wait...there isn't a copy editor, and if there is...fire him and hire a homeless guy, he could do better.

Proof read please!!!!

ScoobyDoo writes:

I'm glad Coach Pearl is staying with UT. With regards to his using the the Memphis situation to get more $$$, I have no problem with it -- I'd do exactly the same thing if a competitor came after me with me offering more cash.

bluetick writes:

He was an assistant for 45 years? Typo or what? Sorry, can't read the posts now, so not sure if someone said this before or not.

UTandETSUfan writes:

in response to bluetick:

He was an assistant for 45 years? Typo or what? Sorry, can't read the posts now, so not sure if someone said this before or not.

I saw it, and if I remember correctly he said the "for 45 years I was poor, and for 4 I haven't been" quote... can't remember exactly though, I was at work.

kb7398#233189 writes:

What the heck does it matter what he said about how long he was an assistant? It's meaningless. Probably a Freudian slip. I'm glad to see some loyalty to the program.

cabinboy2000 writes:

in response to kb7398#233189:

What the heck does it matter what he said about how long he was an assistant? It's meaningless. Probably a Freudian slip. I'm glad to see some loyalty to the program.

I'm a huge BP fan, but saying Hamilton made it possible for him to stay at UT? It is actually HE that had the power to stay at UT all along--all he had to do was say "I'm not interested in the Memphis job. Case closed" when the issue first arose. Holding UT hostage for more cash doesn't exactly spell loyalty.

ZR writes:

Bruce, when are you going to beat Florida?

tennesseebee writes:

in response to MrBamSeydu:

So he was an assistant coach when he was negative-5 years old??? That man's got experience.

Applying basic mathematics correctly, he would have been 4 yrs old as head coach, not -5. He is funny. I heard him in an interview once, "Between coach Summitt and myself, we have 7 national titles....Of course she has all 7 of them, but that's beside the point".

Fall_Creek_Vols writes:

Glad you stayed, Coach. We feel the same way about UT that you do.

I have a tip. It's the same one a wise man once gave me about a certain career situation:

STAY THERE AS LONG AS YOU CAN.

Ask Pat Summitt how that longevity thing is working out for her. You really want to be at Tennessee for a long time? We hope so. Now, all you have to do is kick the competition in the caboose with great regularity, keep yourself and the program clean, see that your student-athletes graduate and your legacy in Knoxville will be complete.

I look forward to watching it all happen.

tennesseebee writes:

in response to tennesseebee:

Applying basic mathematics correctly, he would have been 4 yrs old as head coach, not -5. He is funny. I heard him in an interview once, "Between coach Summitt and myself, we have 7 national titles....Of course she has all 7 of them, but that's beside the point".

That should say assistant coach at 4 yrs old not head coach, my bad.

DadwasaVol writes:

in response to UTandETSUfan:

I saw it, and if I remember correctly he said the "for 45 years I was poor, and for 4 I haven't been" quote... can't remember exactly though, I was at work.

I met Pearl on a plane last year and I asked him why he was riding in coach instead of first class. He said to me, "I've been poor for 45 years and rich for the last two, but I will not forget where I came from."

dotcomjoe writes:

Did Pearl become a coach at the age of 4?

ect1983 writes:

in response to wlvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The biggest joke is you and what u wrote.
we' be been past the first round..... TWICE... U idiot. I bet you are in school and spoiled rotten...... But I KNOW you are ignorant.

volnknox writes:

in response to ZR:

Bruce, when are you going to beat Florida?

We have beat Florida like 6 out of the past 7, or something like that.

powert#205805 writes:

If he gets offered a 3 million a year deal, he will flee this place like the French Army.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Doldrums are all around.

They have settled in.

txvolsfan writes:

in response to wlvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I disagree, I've met Bruce on many occasions and he is one of the most humble people I have ever met. He truly appreciates that Mike gave him a shot and he really loves working with Mike. He also loves his new home and doesn't plan on going anywhere. He truly wants to retire here, because he doesn't want to be away from his kids.
Don't read too much into comments when the article was not proofed AT ALL!!!

txvolsfan writes:

in response to powert#205805:

If he gets offered a 3 million a year deal, he will flee this place like the French Army.

Memphis was prepared to offer up to 3.25mil. and he is still here???
HELLO
Crack Kills

BGHISLE writes:

in response to ect1983:

The biggest joke is you and what u wrote.
we' be been past the first round..... TWICE... U idiot. I bet you are in school and spoiled rotten...... But I KNOW you are ignorant.

Just get to a final four he does not even have to win a champ.

utucla writes:

in response to wlvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

yeah you're right...he's done such a horrible job letting the program slip from where Buzz Petersen had it...

vol_chaz writes:

Bruce has a great chance to rack up some SEC championships while the conference is down. But with coaching changes, that is getting tougher. Bruce owns UF. Mark it down...

PennVol writes:

Be careful wishing for too much loyalty. Ten years of too much loyalty really hurt the football program. I vote for pay for performance (like the rest of us get).

orangegrass writes:

Coach did say he was 49 and that he had been an assitant for 45. I picked up on right away and it was kinda funny.

volsoutwest writes:

in response to wlvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Come on friend. Earn your money? Okay we didn't have the greatest of seasons. But don't you remember 5 years ago? This team is now practically filling TB. Always on national tv. Winning over 20 games per season. Going to the dance 4yrs. running. A little more time please before starting the fire Pearl website. I know, let's go back to the Wade days or to Buzz ball or maybe bring O'neil back. How's that?

gobigorange8464 writes:

in response to ZR:

Bruce, when are you going to beat Florida?

He has owned Florida..... Beat Kentucky!

nwcs writes:

One thing I love about BP and LK is they are keeping the Power T in front of national audiences on nearly a daily basis these days. Ain't that great?

HtownVol writes:

Now get some great recruits to sign with UT to get us to the next level!

gadzooks writes:

"It's not like a teach that's got tenure. I'd take less if I knew I was going to be there, even if I wasn't a good teacher."

Of course, he makes more in a year than a tenured professor makes in a career and assistant coaches "working themselves up the ladder" at Tennessee make more than professors...

http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archi...

nwcs writes:

A lot of people complain about the salaries but would take it if ever offered them. It's just supply and demand plus what society considers important.

FWBVol writes:

I'm glad Pearl is staying. I just didn't see him as a good fit for Memphis. The loyalty thing says a lot.

As for those jumping on the KNS for Pearl's quote, you don't change a quote no matter how ridiculous it might sound. If the person said it, and apparently Pearl did with a national audience listening, you keep it in tact.

I'm just curious as to who Memphis will go after now. The Tigers have the deep pockets of Fedex in their corner and are willing to hand out $3 million plus to a name coach. It just seems unless a coach has Memphis ties, is at a mid-major or is on the rebound as was Calapari after his experience in the NBA, nobody is interested in the job. Maybe coaches realize Conference USA isn't all it's cracked up to be.

I have nothing against Memphis except when they square off against the Vols so I wouldn't mind if they surprised me with a nice hire.

BSweet writes:

Some of you people are ridiculous. Memphis was ready to offer him 3+million dollars a year, yet he's still our coach. By KNS accounts, UT didn't give him anywhere near that amount. IF he used the Memphis offer for anything, it was to get more money for his assistants. He was taking care of his guys. What's that called again? Oh yeah, loyalty. According to past newsreports, Coach Pearl has said consistently that he is happy being the third highest paid coach in the SEC. I think that's more than fair on his part, considering he could command more elsewhere.

Coaching is a cutthroat profession. As long as you win, your job is safe. When things get rough, you're not often given a lot of time to right the ship. Fulmer was the exception, not the rule, not that he ever righted the ship. I don't blame Pearl for getting his while he's having success. I think he's as loyal to UT as could be expected, considering if things went south tomorrow, UT wouldn't be so loyal to him.

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to LazhilUT:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

hmmmI don't see that in the column. All I see is I love Tennessee, that's good enough for us fans. He will get the job done.

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to ZR:

Bruce, when are you going to beat Florida?

how bout 7 out of 8. You guys want a statue?

dude put down the pipe

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to 99aintagator:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

nah, we gave her the court in her name.

MAybe he can run off in the middle of the night like Eddie Munster and then come crying back.

He has and will do great things here

stayingorange writes:

It seems to me it was the media who fueled the fire that Pearl was so close to making the move to Memphis. I don't think anyone anywhere had a comment from him to that effect, really not even the school officials either. Now the media has turned its attention to how he manipulated the situation. It's really ridiculous and good for him for getting a raise he deserved. I bet he would have stayed without the bump though.

bosscat writes:

in response to txvolsfan:

Memphis was prepared to offer up to 3.25mil. and he is still here???
HELLO
Crack Kills

One of the best retorts I've ever read--short & sweet, accurate and I'm still laughing.

sidwalkvol writes:

I think it is interesting that two of our three high-profile coaches, CBP adn CLK, have both taken less money than they might have to be sure their assistants got more. That is another but equally valuable kind of loyalty. I think prospective asst's will want to come here because they know the HC's are looking out for their interest.

Also, wouldn't it be nice to see UT's staff's decisions in this regard start a kind of serious conversation about coaching compensation (which, like pro players' salaries, are spiraling out of control). Sounds to me like Bruce is saying, "I don't have to make the most. I make plenty. I am thankful for it. I am going to keep trying to earn it." That is incredibly refreshing.

It does seem as though Mr. Hamilton took the initiative to make sure CBP was happy and well-cared-for. Sounds as though he feels he is. That is a good thing. A very good thing.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

don't be surprised if Nolan goes to Memphis. Every big name coach has turned them down. Nolan would be able to get just about any of the memphis kids that he would want out of the inner city. Lot of good players there, but could he coach them??

memphis_vol_fan writes:

in response to 99aintagator:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yea it's kinda like givin' your coach a raise and then he rewards you with back-to-back NIT's.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to stayingorange:

It seems to me it was the media who fueled the fire that Pearl was so close to making the move to Memphis. I don't think anyone anywhere had a comment from him to that effect, really not even the school officials either. Now the media has turned its attention to how he manipulated the situation. It's really ridiculous and good for him for getting a raise he deserved. I bet he would have stayed without the bump though.

As others have patiently pointed out, the "official" offer is the LAST thing that happens in coaching recruitment these days. The fact is that the Calapari hire raised the salary profile for nearly ALL D-I coaches. Any team that wanted to keep their coach, the way the coaching carousel was and is spinning, had BETTER have renegotiated with their guy. We haven't NEARLY heard the last of the raises and extensions for LOTS of coaches who aren't going anywhere or even necessarily wanting to.

It is possible that CBP wouldn't have left without the new contract, but it would have made it more likely that he WOULD listen more closely to FUTURE offers--and more likely that he would GET future offers--in which case it would cost us LOTS more to keep him.

chrisw2967 writes:

in response to 99aintagator:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

yea they need to bump ediie munsters pay also, 3.5 mil to get those gators to the nit 2 years straight.talking about being over payed.just think nothing will change this year for those gayfers ,back to the nit. and the yearly beat down from the vols.

Colliervol writes:

in response to wlvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Non UT fan. Opinion irrelevant.

Colliervol writes:

Bruce Pearl has done more for this program than any coach since Ray Mears. (And as far as I'm concerned, he's passed Ray in bringing this program to higher levels.) Anybody that doesn't understand that just doesn't understand basketball nor do they understand the history of this program and where it's come from since Bruce took over. I write a lot of it off to the fact we have some younger fans now who don't realize just how bad this program was for about 30 years. Bruce deserves every dollar he's getting.

cdonsbach writes:

in response to powert#205805:

If he gets offered a 3 million a year deal, he will flee this place like the French Army.

He was offered more than that from Memphis.

Colliervol writes:

in response to biggestutfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yep, some of them are happy that they helped make UT pay out more money. What they don't realize is that (1) that's the name of the game these days for coaches (use other jobs to get more money. If it hadn't been Memphis, it would have been Arizona or somebody else.) and (2) We have the money to give out to keep coaches. (As a matter of fact, I think we could have paid Bruce some more but if he's happy, so be it.)

givehim6 writes:

I knew CBP was going no where, he said after his first year he was going to do for men's bb what Pat has done for the woman's program.

murrayvol writes:

in response to ZR:

Bruce, when are you going to beat Florida?

The next time he plays them.

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