Pearl's comment elicits apology

Tennessee men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl said he told an inappropriate, off-the-cuff joke at a charity fundraiser Thursday morning and issued an apology in the afternoon.

Pearl, one of the featured speakers at a TVA charity kickoff, was making light of the different types of players from different cultures when he said the following:

"I've got a tough job. I've got to put these guys from different worlds together, right? I've got guys from Chicago, Detroit ... I'm talking about the 'hood! And I've got guys from Grainger County, where they wear the hood.''

Knoxville's WBIR was one of the television stations on hand for the event, and aired a tape of Pearl's comments, and put it on its Web site.

Pearl released the following statement:

"This morning while speaking at a private kick-off event for a great organization that benefits many local charities, I made a statement in jest to describe the diverse group our staff recruits year-in and year-out.

"Unfortunately while I was trying to excite the crowd and encourage employees to give, I made an inappropriate joke. I certainly did not intend to offend anyone and I apologize to everyone, especially the people of Grainger County.

"In no way am I trying to justify what I said, but I'm disappointed that the focus has been placed on me rather than the charities I was there to help. My only hope is that the visibility of this mistake will encourage those who can to give to those in need during these difficult times.''

Pearl has made hundreds of public appearances on behalf of charities during his four years as the Vols' coach and rarely speaks with notes.

Doug McBee, a teacher at Grainger High School and the father of UT freshman recruit Skylar McBee, said people shouldn't misinterpret Pearl's comment.

"There's no hard feelings at all,'' Doug McBee said. "We are country up here, but we're not prejudice. It was a joke, and that's how I took it.''

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Comments » 80

CoverOrange writes:

Bruce has been watching too much of Comedy Central.

bugman (Inactive) writes:

This calls for a congressional hearing

berrygal writes:

He spoke the truth... get over it just because it's not the most politically correct things to say. We've ALL said stuff like that before. Who cares.

dvols writes:

Ez E often taklked of the Hood as well

DownTheField writes:

The fact of the matter is that Coach Pearl does (and all big-time college coaches do) have a difficult job when it comes to making a unified team from such a diverse group. The outcome is really quite wonderful and provides for us all a model to emulate.

So, all joking aside, CBP was making a very valid, helpful point from which we can all take hope.

volrush17#609372 writes:

BORN IN THE USA (1950) to be frank
Wake Up America or what's left of ya
Merle was right -we're headdin downhill like a snowball headed to HE-dbl hockey sticks
lighten up America
Coach-nuttin to say I'm sorry-God knows

volrush17#609372 writes:

in response to Witch_Docter
didn't mean to send negative Vibes!!
everything positive vibes on Rocky Top now
born in VA but got to TN as fast as I could

Madkels writes:

Coach Pearl...We got your back. Don't worry about these over sensitive bedwetters. We know you are a high energy great guy that means no ill and want the best for all members of the UT family. Go get 'em.

chad_t31 writes:

in response to MVuniv:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I doubt that you can since you're a professor at MentallyVacant University. Again, good luck with that flu thing.

TommyJack writes:

A non-story.

vol_chaz writes:

Thank goodness we don't have coaches that use coach-speak anymore. The media should treat them right, or Pearl, Pat, and CLK might start clamming up. I'll have to watch the film..

Slystone writes:

Clayton Bigsby said he found no offense in what Pearl said.

TomMorello writes:

That was hilarious. People can't take jokes anymore.

SEC__Headgear writes:

We have come to the point that noone can go out and be real with a camera around without having to issue a formal appology later. Diversity while mandated is not allowed to be acknowledged or enjoyed. Sad.

leon writes:

Apologize? We should be proud that he can say that many coherent words without "yausduhstanwotI'msayun?"

volrush17#609372 writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

witch doctor-throw some of your magic over my old home in the 60's-Neyland Stadium(it was a dorm for ya youngin's)
incense & peppermint's to all-critter on da grill is ready to chow down on

volgrog#210164 writes:

Forget what Pearl said, I love the fact that we've got someone named Skyler McBee. Sounds like he can really jump and he's busy. Should be a good defender if his name's any indication. Not Jim Bob Cooter, but not bad.

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to Sauderman:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

doesn't have to, they on the front page ole boy, Mr P will keep us there

cdldoc#211897 writes:

I am proud that southern rednecks would be offended by KKK references. Not long ago as a kid in Tennessee, I lived less than a mile from the "Grand Lizard" and less than 10 miles from the UT campus. But I would say overall, compared to much of the south, East Tennessee was pretty mild in its racism and segregation and the Lizard was not popular. I like Pearl, but it was a bad joke. He won't do it again.

tennezz writes:

in response to MorristownVOL:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I wonder if you ever will?

Irwin_Linker writes:

Innapropriate, but true. It seems to be the norm these days.

stevefrommemphis writes:

Compliments go to the citizens of Grainger County who didn't get upset, accepted the apology, and moved on. If some speaker made a similar mistake in New York City or Washington, D.C., for instance, the media and some aggrieved "victims" would talk about it endlessly for months.

newtonrail writes:

in response to TommyJack:

A non-story.

Agree with yours and the gist of most posts tonight on this subject. However, I'm not on the Grainger County Chamber of Commerce. I do have some second cousins that I believe still live up there, and maybe one of them is trying to attract new industry to area the Klan is active. Or is it? Maybe not so funny, and I love Coach Pearl.

bigaldaddy writes:

This world sucks. Let us all be real. East to West, North to South, we can understand the joke. No harm intended. Just like the PC crowd crucifying Reggie White, we ARE all different. Can you put it in the hole, can you cross the goal line. I love George Dickel and Tanguary. Peace out.

milesofsmiles writes:

Lest we forget. We now reside in the United States of the Offended. Smiles to all, Go Vols.

jimr07 writes:

How much uproar would there be if Kiffin had said it. double standard.

vol88 writes:

Let's move on.

Healeystyle writes:

I agree with the WBIR boycott. Those rejects are responsible for airing the clip, I want an apology from them for all their crappy programing.

fpcoach writes:

no reason to apologize. the pc crowd makes me want to puke.

GreeneCountyVol writes:

I guess that in the future CBP will be getting his "maters" from Mexico if he doesn't offend somebody there. I'm really getting tired of all this Politically Correctness. What ever happened to Free Speech? Sic em Coach! Tell it like it is and if they can't take a joke, effem!

CDRKen writes:

in response to MVuniv:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Here's a cure for you. Go to the fridge, reach way back behind the milk and pour yourself a big glass of STFU!

NO_DIGGITY writes:

Hey Bruce,

Welcome to the club, we will send your membership papers via a Hood Wearing Gentelman from Grainger County and a Rep of the Hood from the South Side of Chicago.

Signed by,

Jimmmy the Greek
Charles Barkley
Al Campanis
Fuzzy Zoeller

Just kidding, but ESPN will run that clip back to back with some of Coach Kiffins. But, it will keep us in the news.

hugevolfan writes:

This is ridiculous. Who is he offending? All he said was there are some KKK in Grainger County. I am sure that is a true statement.

GAGAVOL writes:

NEWS FLASH!!!

PEARL CATCHES KIFFIN LIP FLU!!!

eefor10c writes:

This is a non-issue as reflected by the comments on this board with one exception. Not a problem with Pearl's pun. However, its different for berrygal who says he "spoke the truth". Are you from Grainger County. Best people in the world.

doubledown writes:

Yawn.. I wonder if someone suggested that he apologize.. If no one did, then Bruce shouldn't have released anything.

G*D DA*n why is everyone so Politically correct now?

Hucklebuckle writes:

in response to HomesickVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That was a pretty funny response! If pearl wanted to be accurate he would have referred to Cocke County, not Grainger County. G B O

Major_Magilicutty writes:

in response to hiresanders:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

haha! what???

pdhuff#552644 writes:

One can rarely avoid the uber-liberal PC police.

Ohio anyone?

Even on a BB thread.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to KingsportVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

If I may make a mild defense of SW Virginia, I lived for three years in Hiltons, VA, right across the border from KPT and the Tri-Cities. That was some magnificent countryside and some of the best people I have ever known. I'll take the "backwardness" around there over any "civilized" place I have ever seen, and I have been all over the world!

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to hiresanders:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

you have no class for your nametag lol

your tired old song is boring

MikeInTN writes:

in response to MorristownVOL:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Glad he apologized for his dumb a.. comment!!!!!!!

LiveFaith writes:

LiveFaith say Witch Doctor had better watch himself up in Grainger County. Your type aint exactly a protected class with the hoods either. :-)

seventysevenvol writes:

in response to TomMorello:

That was hilarious. People can't take jokes anymore.

Totally agree...I laughed, just like most everyone else. Pearl is a stand-up natural anyway...

allntl1#565211 writes:

Could be worse, he could have made fun of Special Olympians.

Vol86 writes:

When that classless slime Letterman says something sick why do people laugh. Couldn't pay me to watch that phooey.

NobodyCares (Inactive) writes:

in response to MVuniv:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Same cure should work for lil' Corch Urbie's foot-in-mouth disease.

NO_DIGGITY writes:

in response to dd1179:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I take it you are from Grainger County.

"Take the Hood of your Face, It's a Brand New Day."

NobodyCares (Inactive) writes:

in response to bamacheats:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Because middle-class-front-porch-white-American-males are not a minority. Not allowed to be offended.

ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER writes:

If Charles Barkley had said it ...it would be o.k.

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