Don DeVoe 'very surprised' by UT's support of Bruce Pearl

Raw video: Don DeVoe comments on Bruce Pearl and NCAA allegations

Former Tennessee men’s basketball coach Don DeVoe said he’s “very surprised” by the support UT coach Bruce Pearl has received from the school in light of allegations of NCAA violations.

“When I worked here at the University of Tennessee, if all that had happened, I would be greatly surprised if (former UT officials) Bob Woodruff or Dr. (Ed) Boling would have supported me as long as the University of Tennessee has supported coach Pearl,’’ DeVoe said after speaking to the Big Orange TipOff Club at Calhoun's on the River on Wednesday. “It’s really unfortunate, and I don’t know where this is gonna end, but it has certainly marred the image of Tennessee men’s basketball.’’

Pearl spoke to the club briefly and was not present when DeVoe addressed the audience and conducted the interview afterward.

“You can be successful without having to cross the line,'' said DeVoe, who coached at UT from 1978-89. “It just requires a lot of work, it requires intelligence; but you certainly don't ever need to cross the line when it comes to recruiting. It just makes everybody look bad.

DeVoe was also of critical of Pearl when addressing the club.

“Tennessee has paid a price this year, and I think Tennessee men's basketball will pay a price for a while,'' he said. "It's really a shame, because to me this is all nonsense, because when you have all the amenities that Tennessee has, you just don't have to do the other.

"It looks like things are gonna pretty much come to a head real soon and we're gonna know what's going to happen, but It's a real shame to have ever crossed that line and gotten where Tennessee has gotten today.''

Get Copyright Permissions © 2011, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2011 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 188

volnsc writes:

Sometimes Don, it's best to not comment at all.

ghost_of_which_doctor (Inactive) writes:

He made a few extra phone calls and gave two kids a barbeque sandwich. Big freaking deal! I committed more crimes than that when I visited the ladies room a few minutes ago.

mercuryvol writes:

Agree with Coach Devoe. I hope that Pearl has learned a lesson and he can go forward from here. He SEEMS contrite- hope it's not an act. I'm willing to let him atone. Brave new world we live in, morally.

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Wow! Slam dunk from a former coach..........

FearlessFreep writes:

Good for DD for calling it like it is. UT deserves the right to examine and defend the charges, but BP's record is the only reason he's still employed at Tennessee. Calling out Pearl is justified, but so is holding the administration accountable for essentially being complicit as well.

username writes:

So at what point will there be enough sorrow, contrition, and penance? When does Pearl lose the stigma of being basketball's newest big program pariah? When he resigns, or is fired? Seriously... at some point, the apologies have to mitigate the circumstances. With a caveat - it had better not happen again.

There is a difference in serial rule-breaking, and what we see now. Yeah, I know, it bothers people that he lied to cover it up. That bothers me too. If my kids broke a rule and then lied about it, they'd be punished. But after the punishment was meted out, that would be it.

Once the NCAA comes down with the final verdict, I ask again... will that finally be enough? Or will the DeVoes and the Stewart Mandels of the world continue to rant until they are satisfied?

silvertr6 writes:

Mr Hamilton was at the reigns for the past wrongdoings. Hamilton needs to go, he had zero controls in place.

orangeman1 writes:

I see it as him calling out Hamilton and the UT president also. Regardless of what you think about Pearl personally or his coaching abilities, This has put a black eye on UT basketball. I've heard it every game on TV about UT being unethical. If Pearl is suspended next season too, then we will have to hear it all next year and when he comes back too. I can see keeping him as long as he can still coach next season because things will have died down some, but I guess we'll have to wait and see how severe the penalties are from the NCAA.

voloffaith writes:

Devoe was someone who came to mind as a "potential" replacement til I remembered he taint young anymore. What about Ernie G? How about the Bernie and Ernie show again? I know wishful/fairytail thoughts....It is sad the things we appear to tolerate for success. Sorry LAYLA...K it was more than calls and bbq! LYING and telling others to do so as well...like Crafts dad getting call from Coach P coaching him on what to say..."we just stopped by..." No I wish was only sandwiches with illegal contact and yet that is still tainting the coaches integrity. This coach is probably going down an taking the bball program with him. Don' think we will sink all the way ,but we will be doing repairs along the river for some time.

FearlessFreep writes:

in response to vol1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Sadly most people, including the AD and University administration are willing to sell their souls for some W's.
Pat Summitt said it best - if she'd committed rules violations, she'd expect to be fired.

tnbigg writes:

Come on football season! Bring it in 2011! Oh...my bad. Is this about another sport? The other sport thing is gonna' go where its gonna go and everybody and their brother can say what they want to say. Just think positively! THINK TENNESSEE FOOTBALL. The slight odor of a recently departed coach's stench in the realm of cheating has nothing to do with our current coach. USC will pay dearly over the next few years for their sell out to what they thought was something but which was actually something else. A trojan horse! Enjoy trojans! Your rooster has come to roost.

PeeEllthree writes:

So Devoe, who I like, was without fib or coverup from '78-'89? Wow. He should run for Pope. Hey Devoe, I knew and know some of your players. I would withhold further comment if I was you.

budd#207344 writes:

I have always liked and respected Coach Devoe but I must say these comments sound mean spirited and cheap. The class reply would have been none at all.

JWilly writes:

SI writer, Andy Staples really piles on Hamilton in an article on SI.com.

JWilly writes:

Oops! Sorry, my bad, it is Stewart Mandel that lays Hamilton low...not Andy Staples.

mrvlknxor writes:

Bob Woodruff was not a former UT President.

budd#207344 writes:

in response to JWilly:

SI writer, Andy Staples really piles on Hamilton in an article on SI.com.

When staples stops wearing eyeliner I might read his columns. He is a poor excuse for a reporter

NTNSTY writes:

in response to volnsc:

Sometimes Don, it's best to not comment at all.

Agreed.

VOLliven2it writes:

I knew there would be hating and negativity on Don Devoe for stating the obvious. Does anyone think Coach Pearl could have gotten away with all this under anyone but HAM the man who hired him? It is reprehensible, has hurt and will continue to hurt and haunt the progam. Who on here really believes the national media will let this go even if Pearl leaves? If so, you are deluded! Give Devoe a break. We forgive Bruce Pearl but it hurts to know his miscue will harm us for quite a while to come.

Razor784 writes:

in response to budd#207344:

I have always liked and respected Coach Devoe but I must say these comments sound mean spirited and cheap. The class reply would have been none at all.

Totally agree, DD was right on one thing though, if he'd done this while he was at UT he would have been gone quickly, because he hadn't won as much or connected with the fanbase in the way that CBP has.

Ronaldo writes:

Don Devoe has a right to voice his opinion, and frankly, I agree. No way should Mike Hamilton sign a new Contract with Bruce. After the season is over, which may be soon, find somebody with integrity that knows how to coach and move on.

tripper writes:

in response to vol1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The idiots are out in full force today. DeVoe only took us to 5 straight 'AA tourneys when it was hard as hell to get selected.

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

I can appreciate the fact that Devoe follows his moral compass to a T; however, former coaches sitting in judgement of current ones just doesn't sit well with me. Especially when said former coach had nowhere near the success this one has. Somehow, that takes the punch out of his comments just a little.

As for me, I'll stand w/ CBP; he screwed up royally, but he also owned up to his mistake instead of running away like a certain surfer punk we all know. He paid the price (dearly), and there will probably be more to come. But how many of us have done things and gotten away with them?

If nothing had happened, that would be one thing; the fact is, though, he took his punishment. MH had the choice to cut him loose or keep him. He stuck by him. Seeing as how nothing really new is in this letter, I think it would be hypocritical of MH to fire him since he didn't do it when all this started.

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

in response to VOLliven2it:

I knew there would be hating and negativity on Don Devoe for stating the obvious. Does anyone think Coach Pearl could have gotten away with all this under anyone but HAM the man who hired him? It is reprehensible, has hurt and will continue to hurt and haunt the progam. Who on here really believes the national media will let this go even if Pearl leaves? If so, you are deluded! Give Devoe a break. We forgive Bruce Pearl but it hurts to know his miscue will harm us for quite a while to come.

If by getting away with something you mean forfeiting $1.5 million of your salary, no contract, and an 8-game suspension, and being reminded of your sins on ESPN on an hourly-basis, then yes, I suppose he got away with murder.

Again...NEWS FLASH...Devoe isn't perfect, either.

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

in response to budd#207344:

I have always liked and respected Coach Devoe but I must say these comments sound mean spirited and cheap. The class reply would have been none at all.

Yes, but why do that when you can get your 15 minutes of fame by judging a condemned coach??

volinky writes:

I grew up with Coach DeVoe as our coach. We had an ongoing post-season ban - by not being invited to play in the post-season! Our team was marred then!

41_14gbo writes:

Don was a very good coach back in the day, times have changed for ALL coaches, even down to Jr. High. Trying to keep up with the Jones' makes good men compromise.

LouisVol writes:

If Pearl has to cheat and lie about his cheating to be competitive, it's time for him to go...

I've been a Bruce Pearl fan since his days in Evansville, Indiana. But I've been a Tennessee fan since birth. I don't want Tennessee to look like other programs where rules are broken continually. He may have been penalized by the school - but he's still making more than a million a year and, I believe, in Knoxville and most everywhere else that'll get you where you want to go.

Jakevol writes:

Don is jerk. Yeah, throw stones publicly.

Jakevol writes:

It is about winning Don, just make sure to follow the rules.

ewhite#207432 writes:

I have always respected and liked Don Devoe. He was a good coach and appears to have run a class program. In this case, the class thing would be to say nothing publicly at all.

makelemonade writes:

Don was a decent coach in his day and then along came the shot clock. It just made his patented 4 corners offense obsolete. Don't you just miss those days of 32-30 final scores? Ahh, what exciting memories. NOT!

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor remember 3/4 half empty arena of "holier than thou" people sitting around gossiping about everybody in town during previous Vol games during Devoe years...guess thats a great image too? go away Devoe.
Bones never lie

JoeB writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Laydbakvol writes:

I've said it before but it bears repeating. I'm a Vol supporter and despite what coach Devoe says will back CBP no matter what comes down (unless we haven't been told everything). The NCAA as an organization is as hypocritical and self- righteous as they come. They fatten their wallets at student-athletes' expense, will rush through their judicial decisions when it suits their purpose, and will treat the same offenses differently depending on who you are and what effect it will have on college sports. Lying is wrong anytime it happens and it happens every hour of everyday in sports, business, politics and at home. Most lies go unnoticed and unreported. Pearl admitted his and has been subjected to unprecedented penalties with probably more to come. Those who keep calling him a 'Liar' and keep calling for his job seem to live in their own little bubble and probably are among those poor fools who grew up thinking that life was fair.

rocky_topper writes:

I sat through some of Devoe's coaching games. They were boring as hell to watch. He was nothing but a big mouth who lacked coaching skills!

rocky_topper writes:

Also for Devoe, we wouldn't have supported you, because WE DIDN'T LIKE YOU!

sjackson#227599 writes:

in response to workinlikehek:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

We were going to the NCAA about every other year with Devoe so we weren't that bad. Ths slide really started when Wade Houston became coach.

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor have friends that told Witch Doctor years ago that he was a bitter little man...Witch Doctor owe them a beer now looks like. Classless to crack on the school that u coached at...sorry but u lost all cred.
Bones never lie.

skyhawk836 writes:

Coach Pearl messed up and got severely spanked.
All the while he has kept the wheels on the program, manned up and answered every question, and shown contrition.
All of todays news was already known and he is still here. If UT was going to fire him, it should have already been done. I hope he gets to stay.

BTW, I just channeled George Patton. He doesn't like the way we are handling things in the Middle East.
I told him what he thinks is about as relevant as what Devoe thinks of UT bball.

pj_ladyvolnMI writes:

Wow, that just was not a cool move, Don. I'm "very surprised" that you lowered yourself to make these public comments. Not your place.

TraitorLane writes:

Don had some good teams and was the last connection to the NCAA tourney, but where does he get off piling on in the Pearl fiasco? Fans like Bruce and are willing to give him a pass and a lot of people think he already has paid a high price for his transgressions. Plus he's revived the orange blazer tradition against Vandy and KY. Don gave us those checkered psueudo-leisure suits from the 70's!

volbike writes:

BBQ SMARBQ, many of you seem to forget that Bruce Pearl lied!!
He pulled a Martha Stewart or tricky Dicky where the cover up is worse than the crime.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

I don't like saying Devoe is right. I don't like at all what Pearl did with unecessary(none ever are) lies. But I support Pearl because I see potential to be a great coach and to bring great teams here. I hope and pray that cheating to get them here doesn't ever happen and that he'll be honest with all future actions. I support Pearl also because I think the players, fans, and staff support him. I also don't think that you should hit a man while he's down,That's as immoral as lying...maybe more so. I can't pretend he didn't make some huge errors.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to volbike:

BBQ SMARBQ, many of you seem to forget that Bruce Pearl lied!!
He pulled a Martha Stewart or tricky Dicky where the cover up is worse than the crime.

Witch Doctor say lets not get crazy!! lets leave the BBQ out of this! Witch Doctor not want BBQ sanctions and NCAA kinda nuts anyway.
Bones never lie.

jbocap writes:

So...Don says ""It's really a shame, because to me this is all nonsense, because when you have all the amenities that Tennessee has, you just don't have to do the other.".

Does this mean he, in some ways, condones doing "the other" if you dont have the facilities or recognition we currently have???

Please clarify Don!

Vol_From_Memphis writes:

Pearl is the first coach to have continued success on the court since Ray Mears. ANY fan base will be more forgiving of a Winning Coach rather than a Losing Coach. Pearl is exciting and has brought that excitement to Tennessee basketball. There's an old football axiom "if you ain't cheatin' you ain't trying". We don't condone it, but we certainly are willing to look the other way. Double standard? Sure, but that's sports. Auburn's loving their national title. We loved Lame Kiffin while he was here, hoochie girls and all, because the talent level was improving. Every fanbase loves a winner.

Pompey writes:

...best not to get too attached to either Pearl or Hamilton....still a long way to the end!

volnasty writes:

wow what dumbazz i remember watching dons teams as a kid they sucked. i kind off sensed the feelings of don recently on the enrichment show .we just had a big win on the road lets move on get a life don i heard someone say he was a great coach really standards must have been way lower.roll on bruce and GBO.

GOJO writes:

Don, you are not family any more. Put a sock in it.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features