Bruce Pearl considering D-League offer

Bruce Pearl said he hasn't decided if he will take the head-coaching offer from the Texas Legends of the NBA Development League.

But, the former Tennessee men's basketball coach concedes, the offer sure looks good.

"This is a major, major organization — it's not the CBA we're talking about,'' said Pearl, who interviewed with Legends team owner and Dallas Mavericks general manager Donnie Nelson on Thursday. "It's a tremendous opportunity. Donnie Nelson is one of the brightest minds in basketball.

"I'm in the decision-making process.''

According to an Associated Press report, Nelson labeled the offer as the "most aggressive package in D-League history.''

Reports have the offer as high as $500,00 per season, according to the AP, a figure Pearl would neither confirm nor deny.

Pearl was fired after six seasons as Tennessee's head coach on March 21 in the wake of an NCAA investigation into UT's men's athletic program.

Pearl, who led UT to an unprecedented six consecutive NCAA tournaments, was found to have provided false and misleading information when questioned about a photo of him and then-recruit Aaron Craft at his home during an unofficial visit in 2008.

Pearl, however, has maintained his affection for Tennessee and said he had hoped to continue his career with the Vols, even after knowledge of the unethical conduct violation first surfaced at a press conference on Sept. 10, 2010.

"I prayed I would be at Tennessee the rest of my life,'' Pearl said. "But that wasn't God's plan. There are family considerations with this opportunity. We will talk about it, and we will pray about it.''

Pearl said he and Nelson didn't discuss a timetable for when he would need to make a decision.

Pearl, along with UT, is awaiting the sanctions from the NCAA committee on infractions, which are expected to arrive later this month. There's a good chance Pearl will be served with a "show-cause'' penalty, which would severely hamper his opportunity to return to college coaching until the term of the penalty was served in its entirety.

Still, Pearl said, he needs more time to consider the appreciable offer.

"No decision has been made,'' Pearl said. "But I can tell you I'm leaving here very impressed.''

Pearl took note of the irony that he could possibly be working alongside another women's basketball hall of famer should he take the Texas Legends job.

"I had the privilege of working with Pat Summitt at Tennessee, and here, Nancy Lieberman coached this team last year before being promoted to the front office,'' Pearl said. "When you think of women's basketball, Pat Summitt and Nancy Lieberman are at the top of the list.''

The NBA Development League starts play in November. The package Pearl has been offered would allow Pearl to pursue other coaching opportunities.

"Is it the right time? Does it fit?'' Pearl said. "I'm coming back to Knoxville to think about it.''

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Comments » 15

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor never eat grill cooked hamburger and smile again.(until I forget about it)lol Good luck Bruce.
Bones never lie.

LJS1984 writes:

There is nothing D-League about Coach Pearl, but if this is what he wants, I say go for it. He will always be a Vol. Too bad he didn't have more of a leader at Athletic Director while he was at Tennessee. His AD failed him. Good luck to Bruce!

LJS1984 writes:

in response to LJS1984:

There is nothing D-League about Coach Pearl, but if this is what he wants, I say go for it. He will always be a Vol. Too bad he didn't have more of a leader at Athletic Director while he was at Tennessee. His AD failed him. Good luck to Bruce!

P.S. His AD didn't only fail him, he failed a number of other coaches and the whole Vol Nation. Man, I'm glad the ol' AD is long gone. I can start supporting my alma mater in person again. Hopefully no more embarrassments. Remember Vol fans, we should be beginning this season with a trip to Chapel Hill to play a Butch Davis-less UNC team that we beat in the Music City Bowl, but Mikey thought it would be too much for a proud (until he came to UT) football program. THANK GOD! MIKE HAMILTON IS GONE!

born2ride writes:

Great replacement for Nancy Lieberman.

Outdated writes:

in response to 02champs#209256:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I thought his deal with the VOlS was over..have the details been made public..

CoverOrange writes:

in response to 02champs#209256:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Bull. to date, BP has already gotten over a third of his payout. Assuming you are right and that he forfeits any future payouts, waiting until Sept 1 to sign will reduce any loss to mere pocket change.

Actually he is waiting to see what ESPN offers.

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

I feel like Bruce Pearl will land on his feet, and eventually be back in major college basketball, if not the NBA. He's just too good a coach to not be successful.

Ironcity writes:

Man if 500 dollars is aggressive I hate to think what the other guys make. Good luck Bruce I miss you already.

MakinBacon writes:

"Reports have the offer as high as $500,00 per season, according to the AP, a figure Pearl would neither confirm nor deny."

He would be a fool not to take it the offer, put the experience on his resume, and keep moving forward.

givehim6 writes:

The deal in Dallas is the best thing for you right now, give you a chance to start a new life some where else, too many people here that can not forgive you.

NeylandWest writes:

in response to amyinsparta:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I just copied his quote and was about to type a similar response to yours! It drives me crazy when people make a horrible choice (God gave them the freedom to choose) and then after they get busted, they say it wasn't God's plan.

Right....it wasn't in God's plan. It's such a self-righteous statement for him to say that. Why can't he say, "I messed up God's plan by making a terrible choice...now, I must redeem myself"

Grrrrrrrrrr....

Climbing down from my soap box...and yes, I've made terrible choices, too, but I never blame anyone but myself for my choices - spoken from the heart of the biggest sinner you'll ever know.

clvolfan writes:

in response to amyinsparta:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree,and I do hope he is a VOL for life,but where is real,contrite,from the heart apology to UT,the fans who made him,and not the reverse.We are the ones who he let down,along with the team.

Ironcity writes:

in response to clvolfan:

I agree,and I do hope he is a VOL for life,but where is real,contrite,from the heart apology to UT,the fans who made him,and not the reverse.We are the ones who he let down,along with the team.

Not sure how many times he has to apologize before you get it. He has done it numerous times. he has indicated how stupid he was. He has suggested UT was right to fire him. I guess if he committed suicide and left a message that said he was sorry to you personally you might get it.

Ironcity writes:

in response to NeylandWest:

I just copied his quote and was about to type a similar response to yours! It drives me crazy when people make a horrible choice (God gave them the freedom to choose) and then after they get busted, they say it wasn't God's plan.

Right....it wasn't in God's plan. It's such a self-righteous statement for him to say that. Why can't he say, "I messed up God's plan by making a terrible choice...now, I must redeem myself"

Grrrrrrrrrr....

Climbing down from my soap box...and yes, I've made terrible choices, too, but I never blame anyone but myself for my choices - spoken from the heart of the biggest sinner you'll ever know.

When has coach ever blamed anybody but himself. The only ones being self righteous are fans that continue to want him to apologize for his mistakes. He has paid the ultimate price. One thing that people who have always claimed him to be a fake avoid is the fact he has continued his charity work in Knoxville. He has continued to praise the school that has fired him. He has continued to tell anyone who will listen that he blew the best thing he ever had at UT. I wish the guy the best of luck and I hope he avoids the mistakes that took him down this path. I equate him being fired for playing hooky one day from work after 5 years of perfect attendance and then lying when confronted with it. Its stupid but doesn't make him a bad person.

SunshineVol writes:

5 bills! Can't afford to say no.

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