Bruce Pearl: 'I will always love the Vols'

Plans to remain part of the community

Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl calls a play during the game against Kentucky at Thompson-Boling Arena on Feb. 27, 2010. The Vols defeated the Wildcats 74-65.

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl calls a play during the game against Kentucky at Thompson-Boling Arena on Feb. 27, 2010. The Vols defeated the Wildcats 74-65.

Bruce Pearl has a lot of orange in his closet, and he said he doesn’t see any reason why the color shouldn’t continue to be a part of his wardrobe.

“I get questions about why I wear orange,’’ said Pearl, who was fired as coach after a successful six-year tenure on March 21 in the midst of the NCAA’s ongoing case with the Tennessee men’s basketball program.

“I love the Vols, I will always love the Vols, it is great to be a Tennessee Vol,’’ Pearl said. “I’m a former coach for the University of Tennessee , and I’m proud of the six years we had there. It’s gonna be hard to put on a different color.’’

Pearl, who wore an orange tie and orange suspenders to UT’s hearing before the Committee on Infractions on June 11, has a separation agreement with UT which restricts him from saying anything negative about the program, or interfering with and/or distracting players.

While doing a series of interviews on Friday at an a3 athletic agency charity fund-raiser, Pearl said he planned to be respectful of the program even before those stipulations were put in place — with the potential for $10,000 fine per occurrence.

“I’m not going to say a disparaging thing about Tennessee, but there’s not anything to be gained by saying anything disparaging,’’ Pearl said on the News Sentinel’s Sports Page radio show. “My contact with players, in no way, would be thought of to interfere with the program, it would be to support the program.’’

In fact, Pearl — who plans to keep Knoxville his home in the near future, if not longer — said he will attend the Pilot Rocky Top summer basketball league that he encouraged upon taking over the Vols’ head coaching job in 2005.

“I will come out, definitely ... I will get back into that sort of thing,’’ said Pearl, who only did a few interviews between the time he was fired and the June 11 NCAA hearing. “I don’t want to be a distraction, I want to be supportive. I’ll watch my son (Steven) play, and I look forward to watching the Vols play and being there to support them.

“But I thought it was important this spring to keep my distance."

Pearl said he’s not sure what his next move will be professionally. Neither he, nor UT, will know the penalties and/or restrictions issued by the Committee on Infractions until late summer or early fall.

“I’m going to get out this summer, and a number of coaches have reached out and want me to come in and talk basketball with them and X and O with them, and some folks are going overseas, so I’ll probably take a look at a couple of things,’’ he said. “I will go out on the recruiting trail at some of the larger events, just so I can keep my hands on it, keep an eye on the 2012-2013 classes if basketball is in my future. So I will stay current in recruiting and Xs and Os.’’

In the event the NCAA applies a show-cause penalty — which would strongly discourage other NCAA programs from hiring him — Pearl indicated he would consider doing television work in studio or at courtside for a major network.

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Comments » 91

brokebackvol writes:

Despite everything, East Tennessee still loves Bruce Pearl.

tulelakevol writes:

Bruce!!!!!!

sambad writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That would be special. He could raise money better than any A D we've had and it would be a great slap at the NCAA but ALAS, it won't happen.

sstirrer writes:

UT's loss is CBS's gain. See you there next season.

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor not even refill Blue Rhino tank this summer in honor of Bruce. Witch Doctor say he did this to himself, shame. Witch Doctor always gonna like Bruce.
Bones never lie.

VOLunTEAR writes:

Bruce: If you love someone (in this case The Vols), let them go. Stay in Knoxville if you wish, but you need to find something else to do.

GerryOP writes:

No one feels worse about what happened than Bruce. Move on Bruce ... move on.

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

BigBadVol writes:

I miss CBP! I never thought I would feel that way but I do. How did he let something so minor become such a disaster? VFL!

TommyJack writes:

Bruce is a good guy.

OwensboroVol writes:

A good man who made a mistake and tried to right it, raised money for charity then and now, loves Orange, encouraged, pushed, and succeeded in graduating his players. Bruce is a good and decent man who deserved better than Hamilton and Cheek gave him, but left with quiet dignity and a endless love for the Volunteers. What else can we ask?

VolinVirginia writes:

Like him or not, he DID bring the UT Basketball program to a national stage. I enjoyed the joint interviews he did with Pat - they were hilarious together. And regardless of how you feel about him, you have to admit that you LOVED the time he came out shirtless to show his support for the Lady Vols.

Thanks Bruce: I really am going to miss it all.

VolsToTheWall writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor not even refill Blue Rhino tank this summer in honor of Bruce. Witch Doctor say he did this to himself, shame. Witch Doctor always gonna like Bruce.
Bones never lie.

ha. I threw away my polaroid

VolzsFan writes:

Just shows that the NCAA is really screwed up. They slap the wrists of people committing major violations like paying kids while Pearl has a BBQ and two committed kids show up unannounced and they try and send a message with him. The congrats and thanks for being the most successful coach in UT basketball history.

VOLDoll writes:

The state of Tennessee is a lot better off since this non coaching scumbag left the UT

chrisw2967 writes:

in response to Orangeblood13:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

murrayvol writes:

in response to VOLDoll:

The state of Tennessee is a lot better off since this non coaching scumbag left the UT

I guess you're still evolving. Good luck with that.

VOLDoll writes:

in response to VOLunTEAR:

Bruce: If you love someone (in this case The Vols), let them go. Stay in Knoxville if you wish, but you need to find something else to do.

Lets see: cheat in life and on his wife, cheat in basketball.
FIRST CLASS GUY! No wonder most of the men in Tennessee idolize him. lol

murrayvol writes:

Bruce Pearl did what few coaches could've done. He made Tennessee basketball relevant again.

I'll always appreciate him for that. I wish him well.

thetrollhunter writes:

in response to VOLDoll:

Lets see: cheat in life and on his wife, cheat in basketball.
FIRST CLASS GUY! No wonder most of the men in Tennessee idolize him. lol

That's utterly distasteful and rude. I get that you don't like him, but that's the sort of stuff you would hear from a troll of another school, not a Vol. I'm sure your mom brought you up better than that.

VOLDoll writes:

in response to murrayvol:

Bruce Pearl did what few coaches could've done. He made Tennessee basketball relevant again.

I'll always appreciate him for that. I wish him well.

I think a lot of coaches could've cheated and then lied about it. But the good ones choose not too. Bruce knew the rest of the league was catching up to him talent wise, knew he was not a division 1 coach so he had to stay ahead of them somehow. He chose to cheat and lie and it caught up tp him. He realized that most of the men would stick by him because of the huge man crushes they had on him.

VOLDoll writes:

in response to thetrollhunter:

That's utterly distasteful and rude. I get that you don't like him, but that's the sort of stuff you would hear from a troll of another school, not a Vol. I'm sure your mom brought you up better than that.

Sad thing is, it's all true

Razor784 writes:

Bruce would make an excellent AD, under the circumstances there's no way they could hire him, but even before he got fired I thought he would be an excellent man to run our program across the board.

ole3putt writes:

Snake oil salesman. No wonder he is so well liked in Voool land.

mercuryvol writes:

A good,decent man who made some mistakes and lied about them. Sure am glad all us hypocrites have never done such things.

Pullingguard writes:

No doubt, Pearl was good for Tennessee basketball,,Those who degrade him or his effort are wrong. He made a terrible mistake on what would have been a minor infraction had he just told the truth about the cook-out. You have to wonder why he lied when he must have known the NCAA had the informtion,, I will say his ego sometimes was larger than his body. Wish him well.

arkyvol writes:

last year at this time i was hoping that bruce was going to be around a long time. there was no way they were going to keep his vols out of the final four. now, all i can think of is what might have been. best of luck, bruce. we'll always love you.

VOLliven2it writes:

He has millions of reasons to love UT and will have for quite a few months. If he had really loved the Vols he would have self-reported before being caught, let the NCAA do its thing, probably minor and we would not be having this conversation. NO, he had other ideas and in a few weeks we will see how that gift keeps on giving to the Mens' bb program. He had his day and did wonders for the Vols. But he undid a lot of it no matter how you slice it and we will soon know the lasting effects of his "little mistake" according to some.

dwolfcreek#397971 writes:

in response to GerryOP:

No one feels worse about what happened than Bruce. Move on Bruce ... move on.

Take Fulmer with you.

brauhuff#295403 (Inactive) writes:

Love You Bruce

GreerVol22 writes:

I was a Bruce fan just like the rest. However he cheated on his first wife with the second and cheated on his university. I just don't care if he wears orange or not and guys who do that kind of thing are not good people.

houvol#438636 writes:

I think Tennessee screwed up letting him go. The record, the NCAA tourey, THE MONEY he made UT. I am turnd off by UT in many ways.

newtonrail writes:

In the time he had Bruce did more for Tennessee BB, and Athletics than any other BB coach. I hated to lose him, but it is what it is, as they say. I do not understand some posters on here, who I've followed for 7 or 8 years saying '"move on Bruce". The man has plenty of sense, not to mention supporting his family. He will have to " move on" to gainful employment, whether in the media, business, or coaching. Unlike Fulmer and slime ball Hamilton, he didn't get a real golden parachute with 8 FB and BB tickets and parking passes for life. If he comes to games like Fulmer, someone will have to give him tickets or him buy them. Unlike Fulmer, I expect Pearl to have enough Class to stay away from Men's BB at least this season. Bruce Pearl screwed up Big Time. He also, almost single handed enabled rebuilding of a dilapidated TB Arena, Pratt Facility, and look at the record attendance and expectations now. A Candle in The Wind.

Outdated writes:

in response to bigorangegoon:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Vandy is from Tennessee and I admire what they are doing in baseball and basketball...I pull for Vandy against anyone in the SEC except the VOLS...

Engloid2 writes:

Maybe, when UT finds out that the punishment will not be changed by the firing of Bruce, they will get him back.

samvol writes:

Bruce you have destroyed this program, yet you are always yapping about how much you love it. who can believe you, you are a nationally known liar. nothing you say is the truth so just stay away you have caused enough damage.

TXVOLnSA writes:

in response to GerryOP:

No one feels worse about what happened than Bruce. Move on Bruce ... move on.

At least he came clean, more than we can say about Tressel.

eVOLved writes:

CBP really is asserting his marketability, even with the looming show cause? Who knows, maybe the interviewer asked him if he'll independent contract with t.v. like Coach Fulmer while he sat around collecting the severance. Coach Fulmer for A.D., he is the legend of the past epoch who went out of class. I'm glad they both got their priorities straight tho.

BigBadVol writes:

Trolls still trolling. Pretending to be in the know. Really sad and pathetic. Pretending to be Vol fans. Please I beg you, get a life. VFL!

kthoma14 writes:

BRUCE!

DannyVol writes:

Most of you love Pearl but have a problem with Fulmer? Fulmer was a lifelong Vol as a player, assistant, coordinator, and head coach. He won a NC with no violations and relatively few off the field incidents; Pearl came into the program with huge ethics questions already hanging over his head and stayed long enough to make a disgrace out of the program he so "loves." Do you people also root for the bad guys in cop movies?

MidTennVol writes:

We miss you, Coach, and will never forget what you did for Tennessee basketball. Vol for Life -- and best of orange luck to you, wherever you end up.

tennrich1 writes:

When the man kicks a lot of tail, which he did, you get nasty reactions to him...you better believe it, opposing teams are THRILLED he's gone...i.e. Florida, Vandy, Memphis yada yada yada.....

GreerVol22 writes:

in response to RockyMountainVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Rocky,
Opinions are like buttholes, everybody has one. We judge people every day, including how you just did of me. I simply formed and opinion based on the knowledge that I have of the man, but I supposed you have never done so? Yes, he is in the same group with the Caliparis, Tressels, Kiffins, and others. The man cheated and lied about it, yet you "just win" types seem to turn a blind eye because he did a few good things for the program. Be a Bruce lover if you want, I only hope he can learn from it and become a better person.

BobKesling_is_overpaid writes:

in response to VOLDoll:

The state of Tennessee is a lot better off since this non coaching scumbag left the UT

The world would be better off if you left the earth.

BobKesling_is_overpaid writes:

VOLDoll is a transvestite.

voloffaith writes:

in response to Mama_Calls_Me_Precious:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Thank you again for showing your true colors...obviously not Tennessee Orange. Someone wanted me to ask you if you are excited about being promoted to a new grade this fall? Are you seriously up to the challenge of 4th after a Rocky Top rough year in 3rd?

On topic,he can be a fan from a distance except Rocky Top league since son plays in league.

cloudodust writes:

As Major Winters told Capt Sobel, "You salute the uniform, not the man."

FeelVol writes:

in response to Pullingguard:

No doubt, Pearl was good for Tennessee basketball,,Those who degrade him or his effort are wrong. He made a terrible mistake on what would have been a minor infraction had he just told the truth about the cook-out. You have to wonder why he lied when he must have known the NCAA had the informtion,, I will say his ego sometimes was larger than his body. Wish him well.

I would have to agree with you Pullingguard and we all have flaws within our character and lying is one that causes us much trouble.I also thought Bruce had to feed his ego alittle to much for my liking but again there's no doubt that he brought excitement back to UT basketball and I also wish him well.

murrayvol writes:

in response to VOLDoll:

I think a lot of coaches could've cheated and then lied about it. But the good ones choose not too. Bruce knew the rest of the league was catching up to him talent wise, knew he was not a division 1 coach so he had to stay ahead of them somehow. He chose to cheat and lie and it caught up tp him. He realized that most of the men would stick by him because of the huge man crushes they had on him.

Here's a grain of truth. A lot of the "good ones" cheat too. They just don't get caught because they're....well, good.

They know more about layers of separation than Bruce. They're also more willing to throw their assistants under the bus than Bruce.

The only college basketball program I've ever witnessed that could be certified as "clean" was Indiana under Bobby Knight.

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