Villanova coach Jay Wright defends Bruce Pearl

Villanova coach has a 'lot of respect for him'

Villanova head coach Jay Wrights talks to the officials during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Tennessee during the championship game of the NIT Season Tip-Off tournament on Friday, Nov. 26, 2010, in New York.

Photo by Henny Ray Abrams, Associated Press

Villanova head coach Jay Wrights talks to the officials during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Tennessee during the championship game of the NIT Season Tip-Off tournament on Friday, Nov. 26, 2010, in New York.

Villanova coach Jay Wright talks about the Vols' win

NEW YORK - Villanova's Jay Wright became the first high-profile coach to take a public stand on behalf of Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl on Friday.

"I have a lot of respect for him; I know he's a good guy - I do know it,'' Wright said following the Wildcats' 78-68 loss to the Vols in the NIT Season Tip-Off championship game. "I know he has integrity. And this business is tough. It can get to you.

"He might have slipped, but I admire the way he's handled it.''

Wright has a pretty good idea how Pearl and the Vols go about their recruiting, having gone head-to-head with Tennessee for two players who ultimately landed on the Villanova team: sophomore Dominic Cheek and freshman JayVaughn Pinkston.

It's possible both players were interviewed by the NCAA about how they were recruited by the Vols over the past three years.

Pearl and the basketball program have been under NCAA investigation as a result of an excess of 97 impermissible phone calls made between 2007 and 2009, and a Sept. 20, 2008, improper unofficial visit made to Pearl's home by three committed players.

Pearl complicated the situation by providing misleading testimony to NCAA investigators on June 14 before requesting a follow-up interview in which he came clean on Aug. 5.

Wright's stance goes against what the majority of former coaches now working in the media have stated in their role as television analysts.

Former Alabama coach Mark Gottfried and former St. John's coach Fran Fraschilla have both suggested the NCAA take further action, even after the unprecedented penalties the program is already facing.

Pearl has been suspended by SEC commissioner Mike Slive for the first eight games of the conference season.

UT's self-imposed sanctions include Pearl serving a one-year, off-campus recruiting ban - which began Sept. 24 - and a $1.5 million reduction in Pearl's salary over the next five years.

The NCAA's next step is for its enforcement staff to deliver a letter of allegations, expected next month, before the case moves to summary disposition and eventually before the committee on infractions, as early as February but more likely in April.

Wright had attended the Tuesday news conference where Pearl held court with the grizzled New York media for some 45 minutes, answering a number of NCAA investigation-related questions.

"I respect the way he's handling all of it,'' Wright said. "His team, man, he's doing a great job coaching.''

Pearl said it's his hope more attention will be placed on his team for its achievements.

"It would be good for people to write about these kids and how we play,'' Pearl said. "I think the focus should be shifted to our season and where we're at.''

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Comments » 55

eduardo writes:

We won ours....but kenlucky didnt!!!!! hahahahaha!!!!!

wigmeister writes:

People like to kick people when they are down. It brings out the worst in people, especially those that think they know a lot, but really don't. He made a mistake. He owned up to it. He has taken every punishment given him with as much class as any individual in this spot can. He is an excellent coach. He is teaching his team how to play big time baskeball. Any recruit should want to play for him. He has done so much in the community. He is right. The basketball season should be about our UT athletes, and not him. Most of these TV analysts are coaches that have been canned because they aren't as good as Pearl, and then they can interview for the job.

It is about time UT supporters stood behind our programs, and stopped the idiotic posts that only show they don't know anything. I don't condone what he did. But get over it people. Your few minutes of fame are over, and he is the coach, and doing a great job!

utjunkie writes:

At least Jay Wright seems to have class, which is a lot more than I can say about the media covering this story!

Lean_and_Hungry writes:

I knew there was something I liked about Wright other than his fairly calm demeanor on the sideline. If I cared what he thought, I'd want to know if Vitale defends Pearl as much as he defends his fellow Pisano, Calipari...the Lou Holtz of basketball, leaving programs ahead of the NCAA heat.

RoadTrip writes:

Weather the storm, Bruce. When its over you will be standing taller and wiser with a bunch of trophies in your hands. Kudos to Jay Wright for going against the media frenzy. He earned my respect with his comments.

vol75 writes:

in response to wigmeister:

People like to kick people when they are down. It brings out the worst in people, especially those that think they know a lot, but really don't. He made a mistake. He owned up to it. He has taken every punishment given him with as much class as any individual in this spot can. He is an excellent coach. He is teaching his team how to play big time baskeball. Any recruit should want to play for him. He has done so much in the community. He is right. The basketball season should be about our UT athletes, and not him. Most of these TV analysts are coaches that have been canned because they aren't as good as Pearl, and then they can interview for the job.

It is about time UT supporters stood behind our programs, and stopped the idiotic posts that only show they don't know anything. I don't condone what he did. But get over it people. Your few minutes of fame are over, and he is the coach, and doing a great job!

Agree with you. Pearl is a very unique and complicated individual. And he is ferociously determined. Given the opportunity, he will come out of this a better coach and a better man. Jay Wright probably knows him better than any poster. He knows a man cannot change his past. But he can change his future. Pearl's true character will be revealed in how he continues to handle the situation. Anyone that underestimates Bruce Pearl will be sorely disappointed.

VOL7 writes:

Mark Gottfried is a punk. He is a mere shell of his uncle Mike, who is a class act. Pearl beat Gottfried like a drum & put the final nails in his coffin in Bama. Tuscaloser is having a tough time getting a good basketball team or coach these days. Fraschilla is another idiot. Pearl will survive & prosper, as will UT.

jbocap writes:

Seriously....phone calls and an invite to a bbq at Pearls house merits all this drama? I think the UT and SEC punishment is plenty for the 'crime'.
Its about the PLAYERS and their GAME!
The NCAA, on their high & mighty throne will wait this out so more tv analysts can have a field day all season!
I have a mute button on my remote and as soon as they start gossiping about this, they are muted!

jumboliyah writes:

Mark Gottfried...That's rich!!! LOL

bosscat writes:

We need to use whatever means we have to speak up for CBP. Much has been said and written concerning CBP's denial and then admission of the violation--that the denial to the NCAA of his guilt is the greater sin. Do all of the coaches that commit violations admit their violations? If so, the NCAA's job of cleaning up all of the foul play is quite simple. Just ask all of the coaches if they have committed any violations. What a crock! I am not a preacher, but I believe that anyone that breaks the law (in this case, the law of the NCAA) and does not come clean is living a lie. It should not be the denial of the violation that should be punished--it should be the violation. What is the violation? Having some players that had verbally committed to Tennessee over for dinner. How does that violation stack up, for instance, to paying a player to play? When asked, CBP can only say "guilty as charged". He cannot try to minimize the violation or minimize the denial--it would only make matters worse. Nor can UT officials. But we can speak up. We can tell CBP and UT officials that we support him. We can tell the media and the analysts that they do not represent UT, the SEC or the NCAA--that they can just go back in their glass houses and hope not too many rocks are thrown in their direction. We are UT and CBP is part of us.

everydayisorange writes:

Sometimes bad things happen to good people, even by their own doing. Sports commentators [sp] get paid to run their mouths, even to the point of being untruthful. Most would rather lie and see how far it will go than be truthful. I don"t condone in any way what CBP did and even less about lying about it, but in his defense, he did come back and told the truth. No commentator would ever do that including KNS sports writers!

johnlg00 writes:

Jay Wright must not have gotten the memo about the basketball establishment's talking points regarding CBP! I just knocks me out how all these talking heads are so shocked, SHOCKED I say, about CBP's "heinous crimes". I DO agree with the poster above who said that Wright would be a GREAT replacement if CBP is forced out, perish the thought!

VolWoman writes:

in response to Lean_and_Hungry:

I knew there was something I liked about Wright other than his fairly calm demeanor on the sideline. If I cared what he thought, I'd want to know if Vitale defends Pearl as much as he defends his fellow Pisano, Calipari...the Lou Holtz of basketball, leaving programs ahead of the NCAA heat.

Oh yes Lean, Vitale defends Calipari everywhere, including on Twitter, where he's also said bad things about Bruce, including "how does he have a job". I can't stand him. Find "DickieV" on Twitter & read back some. He hates Coach Pearl.

txsvol#372416 writes:

I've been a 'Nova fan ever since their band played 'Rocky Top' when they were playing against Florida several years ago! I'm glad their coach is supportive of ours. What do you guys expect? Those paisanos stick together! Go Vols! SAVol

jerseydevilvol writes:

Don't think Wright will leave Nova. Not saying its a better program then UT but that's one helluva basketball school. I think besides Kansas, this is one of the biggest wins Ut has had since pearl was coach. It would of been even more impressive if Reynolds was still there, but then again he could of lit us up. UT players should be very proud of themselves for this win, even though it is early, this starts the season off right.
Wright is a class act and a outstanding coach and i would love to see him coach Ut if pearl couldnt but i dont see that happening. I love Tenn but I have always routed for villanova when they arent playing the vols. Such a fun team to watch

jerseydevilvol writes:

Love Rutgers to but they suck something awful. haha. Gotta pull for the local teams though. Just not when their playing the vols

tootsypop writes:

pearl stepped up and took his punishment like a man. he made a mistake and corrected it. pearl has been punished severely already and any future punishment would be totally vindictive with a clear motive to run him out of the game.

manoffewwords writes:

All great post's. TN needs Bruce. We've never had a coach quite like him or Ray Mears.If you love TN you gotta love Bruce. I've lied and confessed how bout some of you?

allntl1#565211 writes:

I like Bruce but I am not sure all the shenanigans really paned out as far as getting the big time recruits. He should look at how Calimari does it at UK.

VOLFORLIFE writes:

in response to txsvol#372416:

I've been a 'Nova fan ever since their band played 'Rocky Top' when they were playing against Florida several years ago! I'm glad their coach is supportive of ours. What do you guys expect? Those paisanos stick together! Go Vols! SAVol

SAVol, I sure miss seeing your posts on here. I very rarely post any more either, but seeing your posts bring back memories of "the good ole days" when this was a subscription site and we didn't have the trolls and eavesdroppers. Anyway, always enjoy seeing you back.

GO VOLS!!!
JUGHEAD

dvols writes:

more coaches think the same, they all know they could be on the choppin block!

ACWLY writes:

in response to VOL7:

Mark Gottfried is a punk. He is a mere shell of his uncle Mike, who is a class act. Pearl beat Gottfried like a drum & put the final nails in his coffin in Bama. Tuscaloser is having a tough time getting a good basketball team or coach these days. Fraschilla is another idiot. Pearl will survive & prosper, as will UT.

Great reply! And THANKS to Coach for not being afraid to speak his mind. The vultures are circling but isn't that what vultures do, and to use the word Integrity as part of their justification is a JOKE at least for the LOSERS doing all the bad mouthing.

jzt writes:

Fran Fraschilla needs to keep his mouth shut, why is he not in coaching anymore? I hope the press keeps hounding BP because all they are doing is adding fuel to the fire. We all know what Pearl can do when he is backed into a corner.

txsvol#372416 writes:

in response to VOLFORLIFE:

SAVol, I sure miss seeing your posts on here. I very rarely post any more either, but seeing your posts bring back memories of "the good ole days" when this was a subscription site and we didn't have the trolls and eavesdroppers. Anyway, always enjoy seeing you back.

GO VOLS!!!
JUGHEAD

Jughead, I miss the subscription site, too. I'm simply too busy to wade through all the different trolls and posters with changed names, much less carry on a 'conversation' like we used to be able to do. Then again, it is harder to follow the Vols! I was able to listen to the game yesterday (Vandy game wasn't streaming on the internet the previous week). The place I'm working much of the time doesn't allow me to purchase any network telecasts, so I'm not able to make intelligent comments. Of course, from some of the posts I now read, that should not be a major impediment. (I caught a 'have went' post to either this or another article I have scanned this morning.) Good hearing from you again. Go Vols! SAVol

pj_ladyvolnMI writes:

in response to txsvol#372416:

I've been a 'Nova fan ever since their band played 'Rocky Top' when they were playing against Florida several years ago! I'm glad their coach is supportive of ours. What do you guys expect? Those paisanos stick together! Go Vols! SAVol

That's hilarious...'Nova's band playing Rocky Top for the gators! That's just too good. I would love to have seen that. Good to hear from you, SaVol. Happy belated Thanksgiving!

tan007 writes:

I am SO sick of the announcers, especially ESPN, using their air time when they are supposed to be covering the basketball game, talking about Coach Pearl & UT's problems. We should all some how let them know we are tired of it & try to get something done to change it. It seems they think the more they publicize it, he will get more punishment. I think the punishment he has already gotten is way over sufficient & now let's move on to the players, basketball season & let it die!!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to MrPearl:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm not hiding behind anything. As I've said before I didn't like what Pearl did. I didn't like the way he came forward with his guilt. I like him as a coach of Xs and Os. I like the way he inspires (you'd probably prefer manipulates here) his team. I haven't seen a lot of what you would call blind devotion. You are right though...we want to win...not at all costs, but fair wins. The facts are that "violations" and "mistakes" are the same things.
Pearl knows he made "violations". He knows he made those "mistakes". I believe he truly regrets them...maybe just regrets getting caught? It doesn't make our position of forgiveness any different. We, You and I, need to be the morality here. It is NOT good morality to attack people when they are down. Most people I know think Pearl's punishments were enough to change him. I don't know. I think his conscious was enough. At least that's always the goal of reprimand. It should never be about destroying someone, but of correcting them...helping them to be better people.
Not just at sports but in all walks. I like to banter on here as much as anybody, but if I ever think I'm hurting someone then I stop and apologize if possible. Pearl bashers or really any people bash who on here(not friendly bantering) with harmful intent need psychological help. I'm not kidding. You desire harm for Pearl. Quit pretending that it's moral outrage at his lack of punishment. Or again maybe you're just an employ trying to keep the posters busy making the article look good? I don't know.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to txsvol#372416:

Jughead, I miss the subscription site, too. I'm simply too busy to wade through all the different trolls and posters with changed names, much less carry on a 'conversation' like we used to be able to do. Then again, it is harder to follow the Vols! I was able to listen to the game yesterday (Vandy game wasn't streaming on the internet the previous week). The place I'm working much of the time doesn't allow me to purchase any network telecasts, so I'm not able to make intelligent comments. Of course, from some of the posts I now read, that should not be a major impediment. (I caught a 'have went' post to either this or another article I have scanned this morning.) Good hearing from you again. Go Vols! SAVol

Do you 2 mind if I in a friendly manner call you"stuck-up"? Too good for us other lowly posters?lol I should have "went" many times to other sites and didn't git near as much fun! You 2 need to get off your "high-horse" and come on back to this here settin'. I will admit though that if they ever charge for this junk on here then I for one will not return.(By junk I mean the trolls)

johnlg00 writes:

in response to MrPearl:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm sorry, but even for you this post makes no sense. The politically-correct thing in college basketball these days is to slam Pearl; all the talking heads are doing it. How does Wright defending Pearl help HIM when many if not most of his colleagues and the ESPN crew are knocking him? It seems to me that the easy thing is just to join the anti-Pearl crowd; the courageous thing is to defend him.

And for another thing, even the most pro-Pearl UT fans, of which I am one, think what he did was stupid to say the least, but we think the uproar is out of proportion to what he actually did and that he has already been punished extensively. I could even live with some MORE punishment if the NCAA just HAS to try to top the administration and the SEC, but I DO NOT want Pearl gone unless the NCAA comes up with a WHOLE lot more stuff than we know about now. And yes, I know you think you DO know a whole lot more, but I would take the NCAA's word over yours, so I guess we will see.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

I'm not hiding behind anything. As I've said before I didn't like what Pearl did. I didn't like the way he came forward with his guilt. I like him as a coach of Xs and Os. I like the way he inspires (you'd probably prefer manipulates here) his team. I haven't seen a lot of what you would call blind devotion. You are right though...we want to win...not at all costs, but fair wins. The facts are that "violations" and "mistakes" are the same things.
Pearl knows he made "violations". He knows he made those "mistakes". I believe he truly regrets them...maybe just regrets getting caught? It doesn't make our position of forgiveness any different. We, You and I, need to be the morality here. It is NOT good morality to attack people when they are down. Most people I know think Pearl's punishments were enough to change him. I don't know. I think his conscious was enough. At least that's always the goal of reprimand. It should never be about destroying someone, but of correcting them...helping them to be better people.
Not just at sports but in all walks. I like to banter on here as much as anybody, but if I ever think I'm hurting someone then I stop and apologize if possible. Pearl bashers or really any people bash who on here(not friendly bantering) with harmful intent need psychological help. I'm not kidding. You desire harm for Pearl. Quit pretending that it's moral outrage at his lack of punishment. Or again maybe you're just an employ trying to keep the posters busy making the article look good? I don't know.

Great post! Well said!

TNVol72 writes:

Why don't we have a "who give a big rat's azz weenie roast" at BP's house and forget about all this phooey? If "youze" two guys will quit your whining, we can get on with the rest of the season! Fire Hamilton and be done with all this mess! GO VOLS!

Volumnus writes:

Finally a member of the fraternity steps up. Maybe this is the beginning of the tied turning. and the voices will mitigate. I don't look for much more to happen to Pearl. I would not be surprised to see the NCAA come down on the program and Hammy for lack of Institutional control. So far, Pearl has faded the heat for the dept. I am glad to see Wright stand up for him.

TNVol72 writes:

in response to Volumnus:

Finally a member of the fraternity steps up. Maybe this is the beginning of the tied turning. and the voices will mitigate. I don't look for much more to happen to Pearl. I would not be surprised to see the NCAA come down on the program and Hammy for lack of Institutional control. So far, Pearl has faded the heat for the dept. I am glad to see Wright stand up for him.

"tied?"

TNVol72 writes:

in response to TNVol72:

"tied?"

"Wright?"

manniesghost1903 writes:

As I look over from the otherside I see a lot of 'trolls" who have a principle problem with Bruce Pearl's last name and religion. That includes many big name media types and possibly some at NCAA headquarters. I would remind these people that if odds things happen in their households and they see copperage like figures with out strenghted apendages in the middle of the night, it will be their conscious coming for them.

cdtnladyvols931#663910 writes:

in response to RoadTrip:

Weather the storm, Bruce. When its over you will be standing taller and wiser with a bunch of trophies in your hands. Kudos to Jay Wright for going against the media frenzy. He earned my respect with his comments.

Amen! Brother!!!!!

cdtnladyvols931#663910 writes:

in response to ACWLY:

Great reply! And THANKS to Coach for not being afraid to speak his mind. The vultures are circling but isn't that what vultures do, and to use the word Integrity as part of their justification is a JOKE at least for the LOSERS doing all the bad mouthing.

MIKE SLIME BALL DON'T LIKE PEARL BECAUSE HE ISN'T A CROOK!!!!!!

senatorgip#470888 writes:

in response to VOL7:

Mark Gottfried is a punk. He is a mere shell of his uncle Mike, who is a class act. Pearl beat Gottfried like a drum & put the final nails in his coffin in Bama. Tuscaloser is having a tough time getting a good basketball team or coach these days. Fraschilla is another idiot. Pearl will survive & prosper, as will UT.

Vol7 i couldn't agree with you more ! Great comments ! The best thing that the Vols and Coach Pearl can do is keep playing team basketball and ignore the heck out of all the "media idiots". The media likes to tear people down and kick them in the face when they are down. What the media does is much worse than what Bruce Pearl did. At least he admitted that he lied and made a mistake. The media and some of the fans are so full of themselves.

VOLFORLIFE writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

Do you 2 mind if I in a friendly manner call you"stuck-up"? Too good for us other lowly posters?lol I should have "went" many times to other sites and didn't git near as much fun! You 2 need to get off your "high-horse" and come on back to this here settin'. I will admit though that if they ever charge for this junk on here then I for one will not return.(By junk I mean the trolls)

Well mocsandvolsfan, that was friendly enough, but I don't understand the "stuck up" reference. All I was talking about in my original post addressed to SAVol was that, when this was a subscription site, Vols fans and Vols fans ONLY were what we could expect on here. Why? Because fans of other teams wouldn't pay the subscription cost to come here and spew their drivel. Since this became a free site, sometimes we have more trolls commenting on articles than we have true Vols fans.

I still come here every day and read whatever I can find about my beloved Vols. I just seldom post any more because I don't think I should have to defend myself or my Vols to a gator, tide, wildcat, or any other fan on a site called "GOVOLSXTRA". Never had to back in the "good ole days".

See what I mean? I'm not on a high horse, and I'm certainly not stuck up. Just a long time Vols fan. No more, no less.

GO VOLS!!!
JUGHEAD

TunnelHillVol writes:

in response to MrPearl:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You must have a really boring life if this is how you spend your time,running down other programs and their fans.

ctmartin writes:

in response to jimbob:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I believe it was 97 phone calls by all the coaches in 36 month period. Think about it. It is about one extra call per month per coach. It would be easy to mess that up if you were not keeping very good records.

John_10065 writes:

in response to jimbob:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well Jimbob, I've got some news for you. Whether or not Hamilton fires him or not is completely beside the point. The NCAA is going to do whatever they are going to do whether Pearl is here or not.

Pearl on the other hand is taking his run through the gauntlet with UT and the SEC office. What he did was wrong, no doubt. But he could just pull up his tent and head elsewhere but he isn't. Some may claim that no respectible D1 school would take him, but I think he has shown is a good coach and recruiter. He could leave tomorrow and land on his feet just fine.

The real question is what is the NCAA going to do? Will they accept that the school and the SEC have punished Pearl and the BB program enough? Or will they decide that the past couple years at UT, including the Kiffin moments, warrant a walk up to the gallows for UT sports?

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to VOLFORLIFE:

Well mocsandvolsfan, that was friendly enough, but I don't understand the "stuck up" reference. All I was talking about in my original post addressed to SAVol was that, when this was a subscription site, Vols fans and Vols fans ONLY were what we could expect on here. Why? Because fans of other teams wouldn't pay the subscription cost to come here and spew their drivel. Since this became a free site, sometimes we have more trolls commenting on articles than we have true Vols fans.

I still come here every day and read whatever I can find about my beloved Vols. I just seldom post any more because I don't think I should have to defend myself or my Vols to a gator, tide, wildcat, or any other fan on a site called "GOVOLSXTRA". Never had to back in the "good ole days".

See what I mean? I'm not on a high horse, and I'm certainly not stuck up. Just a long time Vols fan. No more, no less.

GO VOLS!!!
JUGHEAD

I stand corrected.

PS: Looking back on my post my thoughts were that I'm not going to pay to express my opinion. The "stuck-up" comment was a bad attempt at humor. I apologize because I can see how it sounded now.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Also Volsforlife I may have been a little frustrated that the real UT fans were a bit out numbered lately. So really it was a plea for you to continue posting.

rdrgtr writes:

in response to MrPearl:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Follow the money? What money you Idiot? It is pea-brained people like you that try to post a paragraph of wisdom and insight and closes by saying follow the money. I had to laugh because you have no idea what you are talking about. I have posted this before, "it is us against the world". The anger towards CBP is a measurement of his success. Nobody liked him before this hit, why do you think they would like him now.

skm writes:

hmmmm. mark gottfried former alabama coach who was owned by pearl wants stiffer penalties. no surprise there. pearl is part of the reason gottfried is out of coaching, lol.

GreenHillsBoy writes:

in response to tan007:

I am SO sick of the announcers, especially ESPN, using their air time when they are supposed to be covering the basketball game, talking about Coach Pearl & UT's problems. We should all some how let them know we are tired of it & try to get something done to change it. It seems they think the more they publicize it, he will get more punishment. I think the punishment he has already gotten is way over sufficient & now let's move on to the players, basketball season & let it die!!

Couldn't agree more, the Excessive Sports Programming Network no longer covers the actual games, they spend far more time showcasing former losing coaches who can no longer get a real sports job. I have been muting the sound on virtually all ESPN programs for so long to avoid the high and mighty know it alls, and I almost throw the remote when Vitale comes on...his voice is like nails on a chalkboard.

samvol writes:

I like Pearl but I wonder what he would be saying if another coach had done what he did……I wonder if he would be saying the guy made a mistake or this guy is getting what he deserves, after all Pearl is a known snitch. Most people would argue that he didn’t offer any money so it’s not as bad, but the fact of the matter is that he knowingly broke the rules, not once but twice and then ask parents to lie……

samvol writes:

in response to bosscat:

We need to use whatever means we have to speak up for CBP. Much has been said and written concerning CBP's denial and then admission of the violation--that the denial to the NCAA of his guilt is the greater sin. Do all of the coaches that commit violations admit their violations? If so, the NCAA's job of cleaning up all of the foul play is quite simple. Just ask all of the coaches if they have committed any violations. What a crock! I am not a preacher, but I believe that anyone that breaks the law (in this case, the law of the NCAA) and does not come clean is living a lie. It should not be the denial of the violation that should be punished--it should be the violation. What is the violation? Having some players that had verbally committed to Tennessee over for dinner. How does that violation stack up, for instance, to paying a player to play? When asked, CBP can only say "guilty as charged". He cannot try to minimize the violation or minimize the denial--it would only make matters worse. Nor can UT officials. But we can speak up. We can tell CBP and UT officials that we support him. We can tell the media and the analysts that they do not represent UT, the SEC or the NCAA--that they can just go back in their glass houses and hope not too many rocks are thrown in their direction. We are UT and CBP is part of us.

The question is, did he come clean to everything or just what he got caught doing...he only came clean because he didn’t have a choice, his hand was caught in the cookie jar. we need to stop looking at this as being minor and stop putting Pearl on a pedestal and give the credit where its due…the players. For pete’s sake, he’s done this twice.

Colliervol writes:

Bottom line. There is no defense for what Bruce did other than the fact that it's a dirty business and he's not doing anything different than 95% of the coaches out there. He just made the mistake of getting caught and an even bigger mistake of lying about it.

I fully expect the NCAA to come down harder on him because they are in that mode right now due to the announced intentions of their new boss and from all the mess going on with Cam Newton. They are going to start making examples out of people.

But, for me, and this is all I'm going to say about it, Bruce Pearl's positives far outweigh the negatives and I believe he should remain the coach at UT. He has contributed a lot to this university in terms of pride in the program and enthusiasm among the students and the fan base and he does a ton of philanthropic stuff and I believe that outweighs a slip-up in this situation. Keep him on a short leash and let him go if anything else occurs but not now.

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