MEMPHIS - Cause: John Calipari goes from Memphis to Kentucky as basketball coach, Tennessee's Bruce Pearl is rumored at the top of the Memphis shopping list.
Effect: Pearl gets a renegotiated six-year deal, with thickened wallets for him and his staff.
Conclusion: "I called Cal a couple of weeks after it happened and said, 'Listen, me and my staff just want to thank you because you helped us get a nice raise', " said Pearl, who was in Memphis on Tuesday along with new Vols football coach Lane Kiffin as part of the annual Big Orange Caravan spring tour stop at the Hilton.
Ironically, Pearl said no one involved from the University of Memphis in charge of the coaching search contacted him directly or indirectly through his agent.
But what if they would have? Would he have entered into contract negotiations on the vacancy that eventually went to Josh Pastner on April 6?
"I would not, out of respect for Tennessee," Pearl said. "That just wasn't an option for me. Memphis is a rival, a competitor, a team on our schedule.
"I think everybody knew what could have been, but I think we (Pearl and Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton working on a contract extension) moved as quickly as possible so it never was."
Until the Calipari-Kentucky situation exploded, Pearl wasn't going to get an extension or raise, since he just got one last July.
And though the Vols went 21-13 this past season and shared the SEC's Eastern Division title for the third time in four seasons under Pearl with another NCAA tournament bid, by all accounts his team underachieved.
It was the preseason favorite to win the league, but sort of flopped around most of the year, because it didn't have dynamic floor leader at point guard, and almost zero outside shooting.
It wasn't until the last couple of weeks of the season when the Vols began playing up-tempo and freshman Scotty Hopson provided some outside firepower.
The Vols managed to get to the finals of the SEC tournament, but lost to Mississippi State.
Then, they lost to Oklahoma State in the first round of the NCAA tourney.
Pearl hopes his incoming recruits will steady his backcourt problems, especially junior college point guard Melvin Goins, who started two years ago at Ball State as a freshman.
The Vols also could receive a boost if All-SEC forward Tyler Smith comes back for his senior season. Smith has entered the NBA draft, but didn't sign with an agent, leaving him an opening to return to Knoxville.
"The decision to make him eligible and get evaluated is a no-brainer," Pearl said. "If he's able to move into the first round, then he should leave. If he's not and he doesn't want to go to Europe, then he should stay."
Kiffin On the Road: After his first spring football practices in Knoxville, Kiffin and his staff have been busy recruiting. His staff has been at high schools, watching practice and evaluating prospects.
Kiffin has had some of his assistants use a small handheld camera to record prospects practicing, just to get some film to evaluate.
"We're always going to find the best ways to do things," Kiffin said. "Everything we can to get better, we figure out a way to do it. I think we operate on the highest level on recruiting evaluation."
Ron Higgins is a sports writer for the Commercial Appeal in Memphis.