Bruce Pearl: UT delayed info on photo

Staff told day of interview; outside counsel informed six days earlier

Former Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl leaves a hearing by the NCAA's infractions committee in Indianapolis, Saturday, June 11, 2011.

Photo by AJ Mast/Associated Press

Former Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl leaves a hearing by the NCAA's infractions committee in Indianapolis, Saturday, June 11, 2011.

Why the time lag? And how did it impact the result, if at all?

Bruce Pearl's attorney said Monday that the former Tennessee basketball coach and his staff were made aware of a troublesome photo on the day of their 2010 interviews with the NCAA enforcement staff.

Mike Glazier, the outside counsel hired by UT, however, knew about the photo six days in advance, according to the university's official response to the NCAA's Notice of Allegations.

The photo, taken in September 2008, showed prospect Aaron Craft and Pearl during Craft's unofficial visit to Knoxville.

It would become the crux of an ordeal that led to charges of major NCAA violations against UT basketball and the dismissal of Pearl and his staff last March.

Steve Thompson, Pearl's attorney, issued a statement to the News Sentinel on Monday to "clarify one inaccurate statement now circulating in the press.''

Thompson wrote that " ... the News Sentinel reported that Coach Pearl was aware of the existence of a photograph of Coach Pearl and a prospect six days before his initial interview with the NCAA.

"This statement is inaccurate: Coach Pearl and his staff were advised of the photograph the day of the interviews, not six days before.''

What the News Sentinel wrote in Sunday's edition was that both Glazier and Pearl knew of the photo before the interview — and that Glazier knew of it six days before.

Based on UT's response, obtained Friday in an open records request, the story did not state when Pearl was informed of the photo, merely that he had been informed.

In separate interviews with NCAA enforcement staff on June 14, 2010, Pearl and assistants Steve Forbes, Jason Shay and Tony Jones were shown a grainy copy of the photo. According to testimony in UT's response, Forbes went first, followed by Shay, Jones and then Pearl. None admitted to being able to identify the scene of the photo as Pearl's house.

As a prospect on an unofficial visit, Craft was not allowed to be entertained at the off-campus Pearl cookout, which involved receiving a meal and transportation.

Pearl, uncomfortable with his deceptive answers, requested a second interview to set the record straight. On Aug. 5, he and his staff again met with enforcement officers and he confirmed he had in fact recognized that the photo was taken at his house.

But the damage was done, setting in motion a chain of disclosures that led the university to fire Pearl and his assistants at the end of the 2010-11 season.

UT has self-imposed a two-year probation and a number of restrictions on recruiting in football and basketball. It is currently awaiting the NCAA's final ruling on the 12 major infractions charged.

The response, running nearly 200 pages, was prepared in conjunction with UT's session before the Committee on Infractions last month,

In the response, Pearl said in the Aug. 5 interview that he "panicked" in the initial interrogation. The other coaches gave various explanations for not being more forthcoming.

The response also states that the NCAA notified Glazier on June 8, 2010, of the photo — and that it would be a topic in the upcoming interviews.

According to the response, the coaching staff was informed of the photo and its inclusion in the interviews. But the timing is not specified.

The coaches had been expecting the interviews to primarily concern impermissible phone calls made to recruits over an extended time span.

Why Glazier did not share the information on the photo before the day of the interview is unclear.

Attempts to obtain clarification from Glazier on Monday were unsuccessful.

UT did not elaborate.

"We will let the response speak for itself and won't be commenting further,'' Jimmy Stanton, associate athletic director for communications, wrote in an email Monday.

Whether giving Pearl and his staff more time to deliberate their response to the initial interview would have produced different results can only be speculated.

Neither Pearl nor his assistants are willing to comment at this time.

Thompson's statement on Monday also included the following:

"Although Coach Pearl disputes some of the factual assertions contained in the University's Response, Coach Pearl has addressed those inaccuracies with the Committee on Infractions, and the matter is now in the Committee's hands.''

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Comments » 66

eVOLved writes:

BP needed more time to get his story straight. He needs more than some wispering in the hallways. It's so much like Jr. High school!

LJS1984 writes:

Time to move on.

ArmyDad writes:

Six days or 6 hours - what does it matter? Pearl lied to the compliance folks at UT and then to the NCAA about hosting the prospects at his house. If he owns up to it and tells the truth the first time he would still be the head basketball coach at UT.

There is nobody other than Bruce Pearl to lay the blame on. Time to move on.

BigVolFaninSC writes:

Yeah, the toothpaste is out of the tube!...Let's move on and take the probation medicine!

dbc5361 writes:

UT just released the whole of the Bruce Pearl saga to the media this weekend! There is a lot of info that's never came out and WELL worthy of being reported so stop with your "move on" crying. You can move on by not clicking the article. If Pearl wanted to keep his sleaziness private maybe he shouldn't of took a job with a PUBLIC school.

AJeray4TN writes:

in response to dbc5361:

UT just released the whole of the Bruce Pearl saga to the media this weekend! There is a lot of info that's never came out and WELL worthy of being reported so stop with your "move on" crying. You can move on by not clicking the article. If Pearl wanted to keep his sleaziness private maybe he shouldn't of took a job with a PUBLIC school.

Move on

BigVolFaninSC writes:

in response to dbc5361:

UT just released the whole of the Bruce Pearl saga to the media this weekend! There is a lot of info that's never came out and WELL worthy of being reported so stop with your "move on" crying. You can move on by not clicking the article. If Pearl wanted to keep his sleaziness private maybe he shouldn't of took a job with a PUBLIC school.

I think the point to moving on is what is going to change with the new info?...nothing!

BigVolFaninSC writes:

in response to AJeray4TN:

Move on

ditto! lol

AlcoVOLic writes:

in response to BigVolFaninSC:

I think the point to moving on is what is going to change with the new info?...nothing!

News is always reported after the fact. If it was reported beforehand it would be speculation and forecasting. Regardless of when it's reported, you can't change it. Not to mention this is purely in response to KNS misrepresenting Pearl in a recent story, making it current news. The man already has a tarnished image and needs to do what he can to save face.

Besides...this is a million times mire newsworthy than GVX247 begging for subscribers...

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor say potato salad should have a warning label.
Bones never lie.

lafollette37766 writes:

All KNS is trying to do is get itself an award for so called investigative reporting. Within a couple of weeks if not sooner the NCAA will release its findings. That is when it will hit the fan and U T will find out its future.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to BigVolFaninSC:

I think the point to moving on is what is going to change with the new info?...nothing!

What should change is that Mr. Glazier should no longer be retained as counsel by UT. He obviously was part of the prosecution team not the defense team. Hamilton was out of the country at the time. Who told Glazier what to do?

barefoot43 writes:

As Cool Hand Luke said after getting caught (again)
"Oh come on. Stop beatin' it. Get out there yourself. Stop feedin' off me. Get out of here. I can't breathe. Give me some air."

It is time to move on and stop beating a dead horse.

give_him_6 writes:

Dang KNS...slow news day??? Just move on already!!

LiveToRide writes:

in response to ArmyDad:

Six days or 6 hours - what does it matter? Pearl lied to the compliance folks at UT and then to the NCAA about hosting the prospects at his house. If he owns up to it and tells the truth the first time he would still be the head basketball coach at UT.

There is nobody other than Bruce Pearl to lay the blame on. Time to move on.

Well said, ArmyDad. I'm assuming Pearl's advisors expected UT to protect him from himself? All the man had to do was TELL THE TRUTH and he'd still be the head coach and we'd not be dealing with any of this mess.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to LiveToRide:

Well said, ArmyDad. I'm assuming Pearl's advisors expected UT to protect him from himself? All the man had to do was TELL THE TRUTH and he'd still be the head coach and we'd not be dealing with any of this mess.

Likewise, if counsel had told him what was up we'd not be dealing with any of this mess. Not absolving Pearl of his error, but he went in alone when he didn't think he was. The NCAA didn't set him up, someone at UT did.

Greatbasicswin writes:

Personally I think that waiting to tell Bruce the day of the meeting cost him his job. He answered out of fear and pannic. I believe that had he knew in advance he would have weighed the situation and would have answered honestly. He was the last one to be interviewed. He knew how others had responded by the whispers in the hall and colabrated their story instead. Had they had time to really think about their response to the picture would have been totally different.

FLORIDAGATORHATER writes:

Who cares? This chapter is over. Move on.

Huttdawg100 writes:

Glazier could have done a better job. Pearl shouldn't have lied. I'm ready to move on.

nwcs writes:

Pearl knew this was a secondary violation. He had no need to be in fear and panic. He lied because he thought he could get away with it. He was wrong. Knowing there was a picture even 10 minutes before the interview should have been enough for him to come clean the first time.

jpark001 writes:

in response to nwcs:

Pearl knew this was a secondary violation. He had no need to be in fear and panic. He lied because he thought he could get away with it. He was wrong. Knowing there was a picture even 10 minutes before the interview should have been enough for him to come clean the first time.

Actually Pearl knew, or would have known, it was always going to be a major violation because of the "Repeat Offender Rule" which makes any second violation of an NCAA rule an automatic major violation.

Mike Griffin wrote this on Oct.22 in this paper:

Infractions

Because Pearl knowingly committed the violation - he had a similar one at Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2004 which was self-reported - it would be considered "major" based on NCAA precedent and previous interpretations of NCAA bylaws.

Whether that factored into his thinking at the time of the June 14th interview I'm not sure we'll ever know even when he writes his chapter on the events.

Volunatic writes:

Although Bruce Pearl was the one who lied, I also think Mike Hamilton is at fault for not meeting with him and discussing the photo prior to the NCAA interrogation. That is what a professional AD would have done.

dcap8424 writes:

in response to ArmyDad:

Six days or 6 hours - what does it matter? Pearl lied to the compliance folks at UT and then to the NCAA about hosting the prospects at his house. If he owns up to it and tells the truth the first time he would still be the head basketball coach at UT.

There is nobody other than Bruce Pearl to lay the blame on. Time to move on.

Six days or 6 hours!? You really don't know the difference between the two? It took Pearl a few days to realize how dumb it was to lie to them in the first place. If he had known beforehand, maybe he would have realized he should just admit it and move on.

You're right about it being Pearl's fault and needing to move on. There's no reason to worry about it at this point. The whole situation was handled just about as poorly as possible.

To say there would be no difference in 6 days or 6 hours though is nonsensical.

Volunatic writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say potato salad should have a warning label.
Bones never lie.

Good point. Why do so many people think it is a good summer picnic food? All that mayo sitting out in the sun for hours...

Volunatic writes:

in response to osu2:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And Jim Tressel and the OH St Athletic Dept. Gotta keep bashing them, too.

Volunatic writes:

in response to LiveToRide:

Well said, ArmyDad. I'm assuming Pearl's advisors expected UT to protect him from himself? All the man had to do was TELL THE TRUTH and he'd still be the head coach and we'd not be dealing with any of this mess.

Mike Hamilton should have encouraged Bruce to tell the truth in order to protect THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE. Bruce woke up on the morning of the interrogation having no clue that the incriminating photo existed.
Granted, he should not have held the dinner for the players, and he definitely should not have lied.
However, the lies didn't just hurt Bruce Pearl. They harmed the entire UT Athletic Dept, and thus by association, the entire University.

Volunatic writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

Likewise, if counsel had told him what was up we'd not be dealing with any of this mess. Not absolving Pearl of his error, but he went in alone when he didn't think he was. The NCAA didn't set him up, someone at UT did.

Well said.

Ayres_Hall writes:

This is good information. Good to validate that Bruce Pearl is indeed a bad egg. We were warned but we fell for the carnival barker's act. His magnetic personality was too strong too attractive to turn-off or turn-away.

Drug suspensions, flunking out, guns, more drugs, leaning on transfers. It was all there to see.

I'm glad Ray Mears was not around to see how this has unfolded. We were all taken.

But we will be a better University, better basketball program, going forward.

shipperman#280095 writes:

HE SHOULD HAVE TOLD THE TRUTH, PERIOD. That would have avoided this whole mess, and he would still have a job

FWBVol writes:

in response to dcap8424:

Six days or 6 hours!? You really don't know the difference between the two? It took Pearl a few days to realize how dumb it was to lie to them in the first place. If he had known beforehand, maybe he would have realized he should just admit it and move on.

You're right about it being Pearl's fault and needing to move on. There's no reason to worry about it at this point. The whole situation was handled just about as poorly as possible.

To say there would be no difference in 6 days or 6 hours though is nonsensical.

I'm not saying men of integrity never make mistakes, but, IMO, a man of integrity doesn't need six, days, six hours, six minutes or even six seconds to know the difference between right and wrong.

I would hope that those who know me consider me to be a man of integrity, but I'd be lying to say that I've never lied because we all make mistakes. I will say that to the best of my knowledge I've never lied to my boss nor have I lied when asked a question pertaining to my job,

I applaud Bruce Pearl for coming clean on his own, but the fact is however much advanced notice the staff was given they still found time to conceive a multi-faceted shell game with each coach trying to hide under a different shell.

Even if you throw out the issues of integrity and lying and everything else concerning the NCAA this whole issue raises another question about how Bruce Pearl responds under pressure. Yes, he had a great run, but now I have to wonder how many of those close games that we lost might have been won had Bruce kept his composure.

alfrizzle097 writes:

At this point you're arguing level of culpability... which isn't an invalid argument to be having. First and second degree murder certainly get sentenced differently.

Premeditation does have a moral consequence.

kazoo writes:

So UT loses its best basketball coach ever, and Pearl seriously damages his career--over some DOPEY off-campus cookout. I'm frankly surprised the NCAA took the matter so seriously as to bring Pearl in his staff in. It was a violation--yes, and I'm not condoning violations at all, but among all the rule-breaking that goes on in college basketball (how about Rose having someone else take his admissions test for him--as Memphis or anybody been punished for that) an off-campus cookout is SMALL potatoes.

And WHAT in the HELL was this attorney doing??--besides NOTHING? Good grief. We hire an outside attorney--and he doesn't even tell the AD and the coach that there is a picture? Hello!!! What are we missing here? And then, yea, Pearl screws-up bigtime by lying. Had this idiot attorney done his job, this all could have been avoided. That doesn't excuse Pearl for lying--but he simply wouldn't have had he known about the photo.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors_Daddy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Witch Doctor say stay classy as you sober up Rucker.
Bones never lie.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

To me it should never have been an issue. If parents or and 18 year old kid ok it then they should be allowed to go anywhere they want. I don't think we should be able to hand out money but most of these rules are insane.
Nevertheless they were rules and Pearl and his staff broke some. Coaches should know better and untruths are always wrong.
It's unfortunate and it's over really.

Volunatic writes:

in response to alfrizzle097:

At this point you're arguing level of culpability... which isn't an invalid argument to be having. First and second degree murder certainly get sentenced differently.

Premeditation does have a moral consequence.

Very good analogy.

JohnnyD writes:

Wow! Thank goodness KNS and NCAA are showing Pearl who is boss! Hot dog cookouts and phone calls are baaaaaddddddddd!!!! Paying a player $200,000 to play for your school...ok!

GerryOP writes:

Keep rakin' the muck KNS, keep on rakin'.

Theo writes:

Virtually an entire page of The Tennessean sports section was devoted to the Pearl "bump" and how many times the UT compliance office tried to control Kiffin. Enough already. We get it.
I guess the balanced approach is that the Kiffin article points out how hard the compliance folks were trying to rein Kiffin in but I'm sick of the daily UT beatdown.
If UT were to win the SEC this year the Tennessean headlines would be -
Tennessee, former home of Kiffin and bumpin' Pearl, Manages to Miraculously Win Title - It should Have Been Vandy!

GerryOP writes:

in response to Theo:

Virtually an entire page of The Tennessean sports section was devoted to the Pearl "bump" and how many times the UT compliance office tried to control Kiffin. Enough already. We get it.
I guess the balanced approach is that the Kiffin article points out how hard the compliance folks were trying to rein Kiffin in but I'm sick of the daily UT beatdown.
If UT were to win the SEC this year the Tennessean headlines would be -
Tennessee, former home of Kiffin and bumpin' Pearl, Manages to Miraculously Win Title - It should Have Been Vandy!

I agree Theo ... somebody tell the press that this horse is dead and to stop beating it.

easleychuck writes:

ssssssssssssnnnnnnnnnnnnnnooooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnnggggggggggggggg as I try and read this WWWWWWWWWWWWWHHHHHHHHHHHHYYYYYYYYYYYYY?!?!?!?!?! is this a story!?!?!?!?!

CoverOrange writes:

in response to kazoo:

So UT loses its best basketball coach ever, and Pearl seriously damages his career--over some DOPEY off-campus cookout. I'm frankly surprised the NCAA took the matter so seriously as to bring Pearl in his staff in. It was a violation--yes, and I'm not condoning violations at all, but among all the rule-breaking that goes on in college basketball (how about Rose having someone else take his admissions test for him--as Memphis or anybody been punished for that) an off-campus cookout is SMALL potatoes.

And WHAT in the HELL was this attorney doing??--besides NOTHING? Good grief. We hire an outside attorney--and he doesn't even tell the AD and the coach that there is a picture? Hello!!! What are we missing here? And then, yea, Pearl screws-up bigtime by lying. Had this idiot attorney done his job, this all could have been avoided. That doesn't excuse Pearl for lying--but he simply wouldn't have had he known about the photo.

The attorney was doing worse than nothing. Go back and read the article that gives transcript details. The attorney was actually asking questions FOR the NCAA investigator. Who actually was paying for his services?

CoverOrange writes:

in response to Ayres_Hall:

This is good information. Good to validate that Bruce Pearl is indeed a bad egg. We were warned but we fell for the carnival barker's act. His magnetic personality was too strong too attractive to turn-off or turn-away.

Drug suspensions, flunking out, guns, more drugs, leaning on transfers. It was all there to see.

I'm glad Ray Mears was not around to see how this has unfolded. We were all taken.

But we will be a better University, better basketball program, going forward.

Warned? Warned by whom? Trolls on GVX?

CoverOrange writes:

in response to Volunatic:

Mike Hamilton should have encouraged Bruce to tell the truth in order to protect THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE. Bruce woke up on the morning of the interrogation having no clue that the incriminating photo existed.
Granted, he should not have held the dinner for the players, and he definitely should not have lied.
However, the lies didn't just hurt Bruce Pearl. They harmed the entire UT Athletic Dept, and thus by association, the entire University.

Mike Hamilton was supposedly out of the country during that time period. Who was in charge during his absence?

samvol writes:

umm I would think he knew about the photo since he was in it and what coach in their right mind would take a photo with a jr. recruit in their house knowing that it was against the rules anyway. Forget integrity right now, what about simple common sense, I don’t care if the kid did verbally commit, it was just stupid.

manniesghost1903 writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

givehim6 writes:

Just to let all posters know I did not read the article just wanted to post someting, this dog is already dead quit kicking it! KNS is showing there stupidness and lazyness to go out and find new news to report on. Hay try asking the Chattanooga times to get some fresh ideas guys.

Orangeball writes:

I know most people want to see this all go away and many think it will once we hear from the NCAA....think again. ALL next season, every time we're on TV the announcers will rehash the whole ugly story. They'll tell that Coach Martin is in a bit of a tough situation, how he inherited a mess left by former Coach Bruce Pearl who lied to NCAA investigators and was fired. Get use to it, get a radio and turn down the sound on the TV.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors_Daddy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Witch Doctor guess you get confused for low IQ and no fact and constant post that mean nothing. Witch Doctor say it wont be the last time Im sure. lol
Bones never lie.
Beth says hi!

tovolny writes:

KNS keeps scaping the scab off this thing. They like leaving the Headline Picture up too.

Why does KNS treat the UT Fan community so poorly? We are the reason they exist...yet they will not let a negative story die a natual demise. BP is gone. We will stand and endure whatever punishment the NCAA wants to put out. Pearl's and Kiffen's misdeeds are no where near as severe as the Ohio State blunder, or the Southern Cal situation.

Can we get some NEWS and less RECAPPING. I am ready for the NOW and the FUTURE.

adimatteo#261830 writes:

Bruce pearl needs to try something unique, man up, sorry, but he is ajoke, I truly thought he had more integrity than he has proven to be the case

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