Pearl has no intention to resign at UT

Coaching staff made between 90 and 100 improper phone calls

University of Tennessee men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl expresses remorse Friday during a news conference for giving “misleading information” to the NCAA. UT will cut Pearl’s salary by $1.5 million over the next five years, and a $500,000 retention bonus he was due to receive in 2012 will be deferred until 2015.

Photo by Michael Patrick

University of Tennessee men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl expresses remorse Friday during a news conference for giving “misleading information” to the NCAA. UT will cut Pearl’s salary by $1.5 million over the next five years, and a $500,000 retention bonus he was due to receive in 2012 will be deferred until 2015.

Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl has no intention of resigning in the wake of the NCAA investigation into the men's basketball program.

"As the investigation continues to play out in the media, with some reports being more accurate than others, it needs to be reiterated that our university had the necessary information to make the proper decisions and set the right course of action,'' Pearl said Saturday, referring to a Sept. 10 press conference in which UT announced a list of unprecedented self-imposed sanctions that includes a $1.5 million reduction in Pearl's salary over the next five years and a one-year suspension of off-campus recruiting privileges.

"Nothing, however, has taken place that has deterred me from my desire and my intention to successfully compete and lead the Tennessee program for many years to come,'' Pearl said.

ESPN.com reported Friday that UT can't terminate Pearl for cause without paying him because of the way his contract is worded.

"It's hard to imagine a contract that affords a coach more protection than (former coach) Jim O'Brien's contract with Ohio State,'' Columbus-based attorney Joseph Murray told ESPN.com's Andy Katz. "Bruce Pearl doesn't have to imagine though, because he's got just such a contract.''

O'Brien, who admitted to making a payment to a recruit's family, was fired by Ohio State in 2004 prior to the NCAA due process. That led to O'Brien collecting more than $2.4 million from Ohio State.

Interestingly enough, it was Pearl's dealing with a current Ohio State player, freshman Aaron Craft, that has been at the epicenter of the fallout from UT's press conference.

UT revealed it had received a letter of inquiry - which covers ongoing investigations into football and baseball - and that Pearl had provided false and misleading testimony in his initial interview with the NCAA on June 14 when asked about a picture taken of him and Craft at his house on Sept. 20, 2008.

When Pearl and his assistant coaches were asked if they recognized where the picture was taken, they all said "no,'' according to a source in the UT athletic department who requested anonymity because the NCAA investigation is ongoing.

It was a violation for Craft, then a junior in high school and UT commitment, to be off-campus with Pearl and to have food and drinks provided to him.

The News Sentinel has reported that UT freshman Jordan McRae and Kansas freshman Josh Selby - both committed to UT at the time - also were at Pearl's house while on unofficial visits that same weekend, according to the source.

Pearl's testimony in the initial interview led UT athletic director Mike Hamilton to concede he anticipates an unethical conduct charge to be levied against Pearl and the assistant coaches questioned about the photo.

Pearl requested another meeting with the NCAA in late June, leading to an Aug. 5 interview. Pearl testified about the location of the picture and the players present in the second interview.

Hamilton indicated at the press conference that Pearl's misleading testimony to the NCAA involved "a very small segment of the line of questions.''

The phone calls, which sparked the basketball investigation, don't factor into the unethical conduct charge, according to the source.

The source revealed the basketball coaches made between 90 and 100 improper phone calls over the recruiting calendar years of 2008-09 and 2009-10.

By comparison, the number of excessive phone/text contacts in recent and current NCAA cases related to phone violations at other schools were: Oklahoma (577), Connecticut (351) and Indiana (more than 100).

UT's case doesn't involve improper text messages nor disposable phones, according to the source.

Kelvin Sampson was the coach at Oklahoma at the time of the Sooners' improper calls from 2000-04 before moving on to become coach at Indiana. Sampson then took part in a handful of three-way calls that were among more than 100 impermissible calls made by the Hoosiers' coaching staff.

The NCAA charged Indiana with five major violations, and charged that Sampson provided false and misleading information - something Sampson did not and does not concede.

Sampson agreed to a $750,000 buyout from Indiana prior to the school's appearance before the NCAA infractions committee.

Connecticut has an NCAA infractions committee hearing scheduled for Oct. 15, having already received and responded to its letter of allegations.

Connecticut, cited with eight major infractions, kept its response to the letter private and has not disclosed if it self-imposed sanctions or has plans to challenge the NCAA findings.

Beau Archibald, head of the program's basketball operations, and assistant coach Patrick Sellers, resigned before the report became public.

UT's proactive approach to the NCAA investigation - self-imposing sanctions before receiving a letter of allegations from the enforcement staff (due in December) - is rare.

Hamilton said UT issued the sanctions because it had knowledge from the NCAA that the investigation was "substantially complete."

Likewise, UT also announced its intention to retain Pearl at the press conference.

"Bruce is our coach,'' UT chancellor Jimmy Cheek said at the time. "We value the great work that he has done on the court and off the court.

"He (Pearl) is one of our family members, and we stand with him and his family at this point in time.''

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Comments » 82

dvols writes:

should not and should not be fired..........

s....t rolls from the top, no president! AD on the way out!.. No leadership at the University!

lets please clean it up UT!

Laydbakvol writes:

"We stand with him and his family at this point in time." That's supposed to sound reassuring? Sounds like Mr. Cheek has left himself a big way out. I think the NCAA needs to come up with an additional catagory of infraction- Petty.

CoverOrange writes:

Good investigative reporting Mike. Keep it up.

oscar285 writes:

Way to go Bruce!! Stay the course. This Vol is sill behind you 100%.

BeatTheHeels writes:

Fire Hamilton!That beimg said,one has to wonder if this story was about Roy Williams would the posts be the same?
Keep Bruce but never trust a liar!
Go Vols!

MrWilson writes:

It is time to fire Bruce Pearl and Mike Hamilton!!! What a sham of a press conference that was held two weeks ago... they both are liars and cheats!!!

ddayvolsfan#238252 writes:

Bruce Pearl is the best basketball coach that UT has ever had, period. We have got to quit "eating our own" and stand by Coach Pearl. Everyone makes mistakes, now let's get over it and move on.

FeelVol writes:

I'll give him one more year and then he will resign.

BubbaJ writes:

Good to hear this Bruce! Hope we get through this, and you and staff learn a lesson. You
got caught doing something probably most all coaches do at upper level Div. I programs. Should have confessed to NCAA "police", and
this may have been a big "handslap" at the most.

RandRams writes:

Cheek, "He (Pearl) is one of our family members, and we stand with him and his family at this point in time.''
Carefully chosen words, "..at this point in time".
Unfortunately, remaining as Tennessee's BB coach may not be up to Coach Pearl.

Orangeblood13 writes:

damn right

In Bruce we Trust

minnehan writes:

It is one thing for the players to lie, steal and cheat, but the coach? I am not sure I want him to stay. He has done a great job to this point, but does he have the integrity to make it last? Will he embarrass himself and the university again? If so, does his record justify his actions? I don't think so, but it is not my decision.

ellerbee123 writes:

in response to minnehan:

It is one thing for the players to lie, steal and cheat, but the coach? I am not sure I want him to stay. He has done a great job to this point, but does he have the integrity to make it last? Will he embarrass himself and the university again? If so, does his record justify his actions? I don't think so, but it is not my decision.

Are you stupid or just dumb? Glad it's not your decision..... Find another team to support, we don't want you..............

dyerbey#281598 writes:

The NCAA should focus on the real cheater - John Calipari. How many investigations does Calipari have to be involved in before he is banned from College Basketball?

rudy123 writes:

in response to FeelVol:

I'll give him one more year and then he will resign.

I predict that he will do well this season and we will make another deep run in the NCAA tournament. Then when the season ends, a school with a winning tradition will offer him a job with a raise and he will leave. He will get a new start and regain the $2.3 million per year and then some.
I would bet on it!!!

rudy123 writes:

in response to MrWilson:

It is time to fire Bruce Pearl and Mike Hamilton!!! What a sham of a press conference that was held two weeks ago... they both are liars and cheats!!!

Okay, you want to fire Pearl, then who do you suggest we hire, once he is fired. We aren't a basketball powerhouse yet, so who do you think will be attracted to this job??? Some un-employed basketball coach who was just fired from another school?
What successful coach would leave their school to come to U.T.?

ChatBleu writes:

Pearl isn't a total idiot. If he resigns no one else would hire him unless he starts crying and maybe a school like Prairie View A&M might have mercy and hire him as an assistant. Rather or not he resigns there is a good chance he won't be on the UT sidelines this season. Read it and weep. The NCAA doesn't like cheating, lying crybabies.

http://collegebasketball.rivals.com/c...

ellerbee123 writes:

in response to naffy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

His wife has nothing to do with this and your post speaks volumns about your class and integrity (or lack thereof).What an idiot. Also, you obviously are not economically savy. BP IS TN basketball. Has raked in millions for the university. Before he arrived 85% of the Vol nation could not name a player. Why don't you just mind your business and take a class in economics. Do you know what economics is? I doubt it. How's that double wide working out for ya?

manoffewwords writes:

Any one who has endured self inflected pain understands what Bruce is feeling.Repent, accept
forgiveness and continue living and do it at Tennessee and don't repeat past behavior.I'm with
Bruce and all his staff.

richvol writes:

Pearl,and possibly Hamilton,are the only ones that actually know if Pearl confessed to his misdeeds because of his conscience or because he was found out and took a proactive action by changing his story. I don't know and neither do any of us. I do know that all people deserve second chances if sincere in their remorse. Time will tell.

Several months ago I recall Pearl publicly admitting that he had wronged his ex wife and his entire family with his actions. I thought,at the time,that the admission was unusual and candid...now there's this.

Bruce seems to be struggling with character issues that have hurt both his family and the University. He,and all of us,need to remember that whatever your deeds are they will be found out...always. Bruce has done a lot of good for the school and the community. I hope he finds his way forward on the right path.

TennVol01 writes:

Coach Pearl ... UT fans have not loved a coach such as yourself in decades. You are a great coach and you do not need to bend the NCAA rules to win. Do not disappoint us again and we will continue to idolize and support you. Go VOLS ...

ellerbee123 writes:

in response to mlvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You are on the wrong site here. We are not talking politics. You are talking about Barack Obama.......

LEXKYVOLS writes:

I love that we have so many "perfect" fans who have never done anything wrong! I am one that supports Bruce and the men's basketball program. Go Vols!

sambad writes:

in response to MrWilson:

It is time to fire Bruce Pearl and Mike Hamilton!!! What a sham of a press conference that was held two weeks ago... they both are liars and cheats!!!

The bible says, let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Why are you throwing rocks Mr. Wilson?

FatherVol writes:

I sure am happy on this Sunday morning to know that God is not as quick to condemn as the fans who are worked up into a fenzy over this like sharks around a seal. I'm glad that I get more than one chance...more chances than I can count. Forgiveness and mercy together are my only hope. I pray I can practice it as well as I expect it.

Dexter writes:

Dez Bryant, a 17 year old, lied to the NCAA about a legal meeting with Deion Sanders and had his college career ended.

BP, a 50-something in a leadership role, lied to the NCAA about illegal recruiting, and Vol fans expect him to escape further punishment? Becasue he will only make $3M instead instead of $4M for the next few years?

Wake up fellow Vol fans. It's better to fire him now, and start the rebuilding than to delay the inevitable.

whiskeyman writes:

Leave the "Pearl" alone! On another unrelated matter: "Fire the Clemson Hamster"! Get us a UT A.D thats not afraid of N.C.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to NadaVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Where have YOU been for the last 18 months?!! You with all the info and sources on all wrong doings yet you contented yourself with spouting innuendo on a chat board. You could have written this and many more articles for KNS during all that time but chose not to. Why?

walt23tn writes:

Bruce, clean up your act and keep leading this basketball program in the right direction. We need you.

buzz29 writes:

Why should he have any intention to resign? He's got it made. Shame on UT for agreeing to a contract with him under which he can't be terminated for cause without paying him.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to rudy123:

I predict that he will do well this season and we will make another deep run in the NCAA tournament. Then when the season ends, a school with a winning tradition will offer him a job with a raise and he will leave. He will get a new start and regain the $2.3 million per year and then some.
I would bet on it!!!

Pearl will be radioactive for awhile, with very little market value. Our program will be radioactive to other possible coaches because of the coming sanctions. It's a perfect match for the time being. But if recruiting and winning start to slip, UT will probably try to make a change.

I agree that - sanctions not withstanding - we will have a very good team this year and will make some noise. However, the national media will take the luster off of it, they'll be constantly harping on Pearl's cheating and lying.

ellerbee123 writes:

in response to CatScratchFever:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Why don't you go hack up a fur ball?

SIMSVOL writes:

Tennessee is dealing with the matter appropriately and sternly. Bruce will coach the VOLS to the top of the SEC this year - and for many, many years to come. True VOLS fans are supporting you Bruce and Mike! Go VOLS!

ellerbee123 writes:

in response to NadaVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Which one?

TopTenn writes:

GOOD

BillsBrother writes:

in response to CatScratchFever:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Pathetic is obviously a self commentary. Look in the mirror before posting...

1vavolfan writes:

The thing that I cant understand is the cookout at CBP's house. These are fickle 16 year old kids, Pearl should know that there is a very good chance that this gets out. To make it worse it was Aaron Craft, never understood why this kid was on our radar, he backed out after Selby committed because he knew he would never get to play. Anyways behind Coach Pearl 100%, hope he is here until he retires.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to 1vavolfan:

The thing that I cant understand is the cookout at CBP's house. These are fickle 16 year old kids, Pearl should know that there is a very good chance that this gets out. To make it worse it was Aaron Craft, never understood why this kid was on our radar, he backed out after Selby committed because he knew he would never get to play. Anyways behind Coach Pearl 100%, hope he is here until he retires.

Agree about the house visit. I guess CBP thought kids would be wowed by his opulence. However, Aaron Craft jumped at the first offer he got then reconsidered when his beloved Buckeyes belatedly gave him a call. Selby had nothing to do with it. However, fan reaction on this and other Vol boards probably also affected his decision. Yes, he and his family did read the negative comments that were posted here.

CCLC writes:

Here is the irony in this whole deal. Long ago, Pearl was essentially blackballed from Division 1 coaching for blowing the whistle on recruiting improprieties at Illinois when Peal was an assistant @ Iowa. Pearl was a top dog assistant but could not get a sniff of a D-1 job. He took a D-2 HC job and then worked his way up to UT.

His reputation was that he was a good coach and a "clean" recruiter albeit a bit of a self-promoter.

Now his credibility takes a major hit, not only for not being that squeaky clean recruiter, but also for having a bit of truth-telling problem.

Lou Henson probably is laughing his azz off right now thinking what goes around comes around.

phunpharm writes:

Whoever is in charge of writing these contracts needs to be fired!! Not only Pearl's but remember we paid Phil Fulmer $6M to leave.

volgrog#210164 writes:

in response to CrippledCoon:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I will. He's done more for Tennessee basketball than anyone else, including Ray Mears.

minnehan writes:

in response to ellerbee123:

Are you stupid or just dumb? Glad it's not your decision..... Find another team to support, we don't want you..............

Your response implies a few things. One, your use of "we" implies that you speak for a group of people. Whether you do or not is of no importance to me because what you or the group you appear to represent want(s) doesn't matter to me. It also implies that I am a supporter...whether I am or not is really none of your business. My point is, supporter or not, the lying and cheating needs to stop by those who are "setting examples for these young men". I could assume you want to win at any cost. That is where we part ways. I don't think that winning justifies unethical behavior. Your post also implies that anyone that doesn't see things the way you do is either dumb or stupid. That is the height of stupidity in my opinion.

dma38256#264746 writes:

Stay the course Bruce...behind you all the way...

dma38256#264746 writes:

in response to CrippledCoon:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Why wouldn't we?

Ralph_Crampton writes:

Forgive guys, we live in the bible belt..we are supposed forgive....Haven't we all lied ..? If you say no...look in the mirror and forgive yourself.

vol75 writes:

A leader never rises above his own character. But D1 basketball is dirty business. It is a challenge to win and play be the rules. What attracted Selby and Craft to go elsewhere? The NCAA should either admit that the system is fundamentally corrupt or just call it what it is- a business. Schools offer big contracts to coaches. Allow players to participate in revenue sharing. And quit carrying on the NCAA myth of the student-athlete. The recruiting process is a sham.

phhome writes:

in response to ChatBleu:

Pearl isn't a total idiot. If he resigns no one else would hire him unless he starts crying and maybe a school like Prairie View A&M might have mercy and hire him as an assistant. Rather or not he resigns there is a good chance he won't be on the UT sidelines this season. Read it and weep. The NCAA doesn't like cheating, lying crybabies.

http://collegebasketball.rivals.com/c...

CBP will be on the sidelines for this season, just how many games is the question, if you would have cared to read more than one article, you would have seen the what UT did in this case before the NCAA handled their part is rare. You sound just like one of those crybabies you're talking about, CBP is a great coach and motivator, and would get a better job than your A&M joke, so just go back and root with the other whiners, and let the process take its course.

YoungUtAlum writes:

in response to MrWilson:

It is time to fire Bruce Pearl and Mike Hamilton!!! What a sham of a press conference that was held two weeks ago... they both are liars and cheats!!!

I know Mr. Hamilton to be a very committed Christian (something you may or may not respect) and he is definitely not a liar. Hamilton may not make the best administrational decisions but he is the best man for the job in terms of integrity. It's easy to take shots at a man you don't even know but I challenge you to know a man before you make such accusations.

veinsoforange writes:

in response to tweetdriver63#346474:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Wow, that is one heck of an in-depth analysis on what's hopefully the truth! I believe it is.

I believe in Pearl all the way. He is REAL! "Real" people make mistakes, better people try to correct and/or learn from them as Pearl is doing.

I'm suprised at this synopsis as people in here usually talk from the hip (usually without making a lot of sense).

Nice job tweetdriver!

veinsoforange writes:

Oh yeah, by the way, does anyone with some credibility have the scoop on Adonis Thomas's visit.

Do we still have a shot at getting him?

I would love it if the Doctor is in the house and has some info. You there Doctor?

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