Bruce Pearl suspended first 8 games of 2011 SEC season

UT Basketball Head Coach Bruce Pearl, center, and UT Athletic Director Mike Hamilton, right, listen to UT Chancellor Jimmy Cheek give a statement on Pearl's eight SEC game suspension on Friday, Nov. 19 at Thompson-Boling Arena. The suspension is a result of Pearl's conduct and recruiting violations that are under investigation by the NCAA.

Photo by Lauren Spuhler

UT Basketball Head Coach Bruce Pearl, center, and UT Athletic Director Mike Hamilton, right, listen to UT Chancellor Jimmy Cheek give a statement on Pearl's eight SEC game suspension on Friday, Nov. 19 at Thompson-Boling Arena. The suspension is a result of Pearl's conduct and recruiting violations that are under investigation by the NCAA.

Bruce Pearl suspended for 8 SEC games

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Tennessee men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl has been suspended for the first eight games of the 2011 SEC season by commissioner Mike Slive as a result of his conduct and recruiting violations that are under investigation by the NCAA.

A letter from Slive sent on Thursday mandates that Pearl be "prohibited from participating directly or indirectly in any team or individual activities, including but not limited to practices, meetings, pre- and post-game activities, and the game itself.''

By order of the letter, Pearl cannot be present in the playing facility two hours prior to scheduled tip-off until one hour following conclusion of the games he's suspended. Associate head coach Tony Jones will assume Pearl’s duties during those games.

"While disappointed in the severity of commissioner Slive's additional punishment, we respect that he is acting on the authority that the league's athletic directors, presidents, and chancellors granted him earlier this year to address matters of his nature,'' UT Athletic Director Mike Hamilton and Chancellor Jimmy Cheek said in a prepared statement.

"As we move forward, we are hopeful the Tennessee family will now rally behind Coach Pearl, his staff and particularly our student-athletes as they focus on the 2010-11 season, and we advance toward bringing this matter to conclusion over the next several months.''

Pearl will miss the following games:

--Jan. 8, at Arkansas

--Jan. 11 vs. Florida

--Jan. 15 vs. Vanderbilt

--Jan. 18 at Georgia

--Jan. 26 vs. LSU

--Jan. 29 at Ole Miss

--Feb. 3 at Auburn

--Feb. 5 vs. Alabama

The letter does not state that Pearl must miss the Vols non-conference at Connecticut on Jan. 22.

Pearl's first SEC game back will be on Feb. 8 at Kentucky.

UT students react to Bruce Pearl's SEC suspension

The Vols received a letter of inquiry on Sept. 10 informing the school that the basketball program was under investigation as a result of various recruiting improprieties.

UT has self-imposed a number of unprecedented sanctions, including a one-year off-campus recruiting ban for Pearl that began on Sept. 24 and a $1.5 million reduction in Pearl's salary over the next five years.

Pearl is working under a letter of appointment, as his contract remains unsigned.

UT is currently re-working Pearl's contract after its first offer to him on Oct. 9 included provisions that both parties have since deemed inappropriate.

The unresolved issues in Pearl's contract do not deal with Pearl's salary or bonus clauses, according to university sources familiar with the contract provisions.

The sources asked not to be identified because of the ongoing negotiations.

UT is expected to receive a letter of allegations in December. From there, the case will go to into the summary disposition phase before ultimately going before the NCAA infractions committee as early as February but more likely in April.

More details as they develop online and in Saturday's News Sentinel.

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Comments » 357

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor say that about what been said all along...OK now we know. Bruce survives the Trolls whines...nothing new
Bones never lie.

tulelakevol writes:

And so it begins.....

newportvol writes:

not good my friends not good at all..is there a appeal process?

FearlessFreep writes:

in response to newportvol:

not good my friends not good at all..is there a appeal process?

Appeal what?!?! Bruce is lucky he still has a job, IMO, even though I love what he's done for the program.
Any less successful and he'd already be fired.

volmania97 writes:

Pat is going to coach the men during this process, just wishing.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to newportvol:

not good my friends not good at all..is there a appeal process?

Witch Doctor say much better than the year that WAS hanging over him.. Witch Doctor say this step to conclusion.
Bones never lie.

MilitaryBrat writes:

This is just the punishment from the SEC.

We still have to wait and see what penalties the NCAA will dole out.

born2ride writes:

Why has Pearl not been fired?

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to MilitaryBrat:

This is just the punishment from the SEC.

We still have to wait and see what penalties the NCAA will dole out.

Witch Doctor say this like the salary reduction an attempt to offset the NCAA..we ok. NCAA wants SEC to police itself..Bruce may be the luckiest coach on earth.
Bones never lie.

MilitaryBrat writes:

in response to volmania97:

Pat is going to coach the men during this process, just wishing.

That would be interesting.

I know if won't happen, but is there any by-laws that prevent that from happening?

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to born2ride:

Why has Pearl not been fired?

because trolls/whiners opinions of another team doesnt matter EVEN if you like to whine about it..go away whine boy
Bones never lie.

RememberTheVols writes:

I am afraid Coach Pearl's days are numbered.

mercyseat writes:

wonder if he could coach through skype from home?
Hum......

marnel1958 writes:

As I posted on the CBS site on Parrish's blog, does anyone else see the conflict that Slime..er..uh..Slive chooses to weigh in and punish Pearl before the NCAA finishes its investigation, yet he says he won't weigh in on the Cameron Newton mess until the NCAA finishes its investigation??

newportvol writes:

in response to FearlessFreep:

Appeal what?!?! Bruce is lucky he still has a job, IMO, even though I love what he's done for the program.
Any less successful and he'd already be fired.

Well he still has the right to a appeal sometimes in the pros.. They will get a 6 game suspension and after the appeal they will knock in half or something.. just wishing for the best..

ctownvol writes:

in response to born2ride:

Why has Pearl not been fired?

Just to tick you off. I see it's working.

keepitreal4vols writes:

Mike Slive is using Bruce as a diversion from Cam Newton saga, trying to show his tough side. He needed something else strolling along the ESPN ticker.

MikeInTN writes:

Could this be the beginning of the end? Can't remember Slive ever coming down this hard on a coach. Not good!!!!

MilitaryBrat writes:

in response to mercyseat:

wonder if he could coach through skype from home?
Hum......

What they were saying on the radio is he can't have any contact with the team two hours before a game, and 60 or 90 minutes after the game. And they think it even involves be banned from practices.

Orangeblood13 writes:

still my coach

back just in time to stick it to Kentucky

ps11824 writes:

Something's not just right about the Newton mess

onthefieldTN writes:

in response to MilitaryBrat:

What they were saying on the radio is he can't have any contact with the team two hours before a game, and 60 or 90 minutes after the game. And they think it even involves be banned from practices.

this is ridiculous!

VOLDoll writes:

Pearl and Hamilton have humiliated this city and university long enough. Time to get rid of his lying cheating azz.

givehim6 writes:

Well while the football program was on the ropes we had BB to look forward to. now UT has a future with the football program only makes sence problems would start surrounding the basketball program.

UTbassdrummer writes:

All this Cam Newton talk is right on the
money. Nobody at the SEC is going to
jeopardize another Heisman and/or
crystal football coming our way. Any
diversion will do. I suppose the newtons
haven't surrendered a confession yet,
though. Hmph.

gymrat7366 writes:

in response to onthefieldTN:

this is ridiculous!

Anything less than Pearl being fired is ridiculous.

VolzsFan writes:

If the other SEC coaches where polled in private and asked "would your life be easier with Pearl at Tennessee or without Pearl at Tennessee"? 11 would all say with Pearl not at Tennessee. That is the #1 reason that Tennessee rides out this storm and he stays. However, Slive has overreacted. UT overreacted. No other school or conference will do this type of thing. That is why he will jet for a better job in a more sophisticated conference soon. Believe me, he will get whatever job he wants.

volpreacher writes:

in response to RememberTheVols:

I am afraid Coach Pearl's days are numbered.

I'm afraid you are wrong

RockyTop1_old writes:

in response to volmania97:

Pat is going to coach the men during this process, just wishing.

NO, they could not handle her style of coaching!

VolzsFan writes:

Hey Dolts and Tards, stop the short term thinking. That is why you are last in baseball and tied for last in football....and will be for sometime.

UkJarhead writes:

in response to marnel1958:

As I posted on the CBS site on Parrish's blog, does anyone else see the conflict that Slime..er..uh..Slive chooses to weigh in and punish Pearl before the NCAA finishes its investigation, yet he says he won't weigh in on the Cameron Newton mess until the NCAA finishes its investigation??

Dude. Really? Although I believe there is no doubt that Newton and his dad are dirty, nothing has been proven. Pearl admitted to the violations and admitted he lied. There is a difference. Although Newton is dirty, we always want proof before we punish...

utfpmd writes:

So what happens with the UConn game, right in the middle of the 8 SEC games for which he is suspended?

He did the crime, he is taking his punishment. Hopefully we can can still win some games during that month and have all this behind us following.

gymrat7366 writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

If the other SEC coaches where polled in private and asked "would your life be easier with Pearl at Tennessee or without Pearl at Tennessee"? 11 would all say with Pearl not at Tennessee. That is the #1 reason that Tennessee rides out this storm and he stays. However, Slive has overreacted. UT overreacted. No other school or conference will do this type of thing. That is why he will jet for a better job in a more sophisticated conference soon. Believe me, he will get whatever job he wants.

Bruce Pearl could not get a job at any school in any conference. He is a pariah around the nation. If he's not coaching at UT he's not coaching anywhere.

gglardon50#417841 writes:

in response to born2ride:

Why has Pearl not been fired?

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

I wasn't expecting any kind of punishment to be revealed quite this soon, but you never know..Things happen when you least expect them..Anyway, Witchie, I hope you're analysis is spot on...Think it's hilarious that his first game back is Kentucky..Got a good laugh out of that fact, but that was the only laugh..Hopefully, the assistant coaches can lead this team to some SEC victories before Pearl returns..Haven't seen the Vols SEC schedule yet, so I can't predict how many they could possibly win without Pearl as coach.

Fryinpansvols writes:

Not good! However, at least he won't miss a Kentucky game. If he misses the first 8 games of the SEC Schedule can he still coach during the week for practices or not? GBO and win the NIT Tournament!

VOLDoll writes:

It must be something in the water here in Knoxville. CBP lying and 24/7 bloggers acting like former athletes. I mean reallly! How many athletes sit on chat boards all day every day?
You gotta love fantasies! lol!

Dooley_Wears_Orange writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

because trolls/whiners opinions of another team doesnt matter EVEN if you like to whine about it..go away whine boy
Bones never lie.

"go away whine boy" CLASSIC!

Colliervol writes:

in response to MilitaryBrat:

This is just the punishment from the SEC.

We still have to wait and see what penalties the NCAA will dole out.

Personal opinion. The SEC office may think the NCAA punishment could be really serious and is trying to take some of the sting out of it. New NCAA head man made all sorts of noise about "cleaning things up". How better to do it than make an example out of a high profile coach and school right out of the box? Remember that Kelvin Sampson got a 5 year ban for similar offenses and it effectively ended his career.

I really hate to see this because BP has done a lot for the school and for the program. But this whole scenario was certainly avoidable and was the epitome of stupid. I'm not sure now that he survives the year as coach especially if the NCAA suspends him for an additional time period (like next season).

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to born2ride:

Why has Pearl not been fired?

Because we don't want to go back to being an SEC cellar dweller, thus lose revenue. Hell, Coach Cal's put two programs on probation and still has a job for doing much worse than having some recruits over for a BBQ and lying about it.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to MilitaryBrat:

What they were saying on the radio is he can't have any contact with the team two hours before a game, and 60 or 90 minutes after the game. And they think it even involves be banned from practices.

Banned from practices only on the days of the games. Not other days.

ROCKYTOPBRAD writes:

is this an sec ruleing or an ncaa????

FWBVol writes:

I have mixed emotions of the situation with Bruce Pearl. He knowingly and willingly broke the rules set by the NCAA and then lied about it before coming clean.

There is a strong case for him being fired right now. If he was at Florida, Alabama or Kentucky there's not a UT fan out there that would be saying give him a break. We would all be calling that School X should get rid of the cheater.

Pearl has had unquestioned and never before success with the men's basketball program at UT. He has embraced our past honoring Ray Mears, Bernard King, Ernie G and other UT legends. But this is a huge black eye not only on the basketball team, but the University of Tennessee.

Whether or not we like Slive and what he is doing, he is acting withing his job as the SEC commissioner. This suspension also might lessen the severity of the NCAA sanctions that are no doubt coming down in the months to come.

marnel1958 writes:

in response to UkJarhead:

Dude. Really? Although I believe there is no doubt that Newton and his dad are dirty, nothing has been proven. Pearl admitted to the violations and admitted he lied. There is a difference. Although Newton is dirty, we always want proof before we punish...

Dude?? Dude?? How old are you Kentucky Marine? Again, my point is Slive's willingness to slam Pearl, yet he overlooks his duty according to the SEC Bylaws concerning taking action when anyone solicits money for a student athlete to sign to play for a member institution. Get it, DUDE?

VolzsFan writes:

in response to gymrat7366:

Bruce Pearl could not get a job at any school in any conference. He is a pariah around the nation. If he's not coaching at UT he's not coaching anywhere.

You have no idea what you are talking about. Most big time basketball schools would take all that winning and revenue in a heartbeat. Any school would take him now no questions asked. Look at all the coaches that have had violations and get great jobs. You are another VolNeck.

HuntsvilleVol writes:

Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive has suspended Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl for the Volunteers' first eight conference games as punishment for violating NCAA rules and misleading investigators.

Pearl
Pearl

Slive sent a letter Thursday that informed Pearl he is prohibited from participating in practices, meetings and any activities related to games between Jan. 8 and Feb. 5.

Here's the link:
http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/st...

mdvol writes:

Interesting precedent. Today all the attention is on Pearl. Won't be long before another coach in the SEC steps out of line. What would be the football equivalent.....4 SEC games??? No turning back for Slive now. We'll see how the future plays out.

tmartin writes:

in response to volmania97:

Pat is going to coach the men during this process, just wishing.

Stupid comment. Other than playing on the same floor, it is a totally different sport. Pat would be lost, a woman cannot coach a men's team. Don't even bring up some kind of liberal rights, until you can name one that does and is successful at it.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to Agent_Orange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Did you notice the suspension didn't include the Kentucky game? Guess Slive doesn't favor Calipari either.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

Just a thought: Maybe, Slive issued the 8-game suspension hoping to appease the NCAA so they won't punish Pearl and the team as bad as once thought..This just a theory..But whatever the punishment is we will weather the storm and deal with it.

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