"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.''