Houston Fancher named interim coach at UT

Former Appalachian State head basketball coach Houston Fancher reacts to a call during a game against Wake Forest in November 2005. Fancher has been named interim head men's basketball coach after former head coach Bruce Pearl was fired Monday.

Photo by Lynn Hey, Associated Press

Former Appalachian State head basketball coach Houston Fancher reacts to a call during a game against Wake Forest in November 2005. Fancher has been named interim head men's basketball coach after former head coach Bruce Pearl was fired Monday.

Houston Fancher

Photo by Adam Brimer

Houston Fancher

Tennessee coordinator of video scouting Houston Fancher has been promoted to interim head men's basketball coach in the wake of Bruce Pearl's firing on Monday.

Fancher, 45, took a graduate assistant position on the Vols coaching staff roughly two years ago after serving as Appalachian State's head coach from 2000-2009 and spent the past season as the coordinator of video scouting.

“If there's anything I want to get across, it's not about me accepting a position, it's about me being here during the transition for the players,'' Fancher told the News Sentinel late Monday afternoon. “The first thing I did when Mike (Hamilton) offered me this opportunity was to call coach (Bruce) Pearl, and he gave me his blessing to do this.''

Hamilton met with UT players who have eligibility remaining on Monday afternoon after he had fired Pearl in a closed-door meeting at his office in the Stokely Athletics Center.

Assistant coaches Jason Shay, Steve Forbes and Tony Jones later met with Hamilton at his office, where they were relieved of their duties.

Fancher said his 24 years of coaching experience enables him to make sure the players' needs are being met as UT begins its search for a new head coach.

“I told the team today, I'm going to remember Bruce Pearl for the great things he did for Tennessee basketball and the opportunities he provided,'' said Fancher, who met with the team Monday afternoon. “My job now is to keep everyone on task; it's not easy for the kids to deal with the insecurities they face all of the sudden.

“They need someone they trust and feel comfortable with, and Mike (Hamilton) felt I was someone who could fill that position.''

Fancher grew up a Tennessee Vols fan in Newport, roughly an hour from the Knoxville campus.

“Bruce Pearl has done for UT basketball what I hoped as a fan growing up that someone could do,'' Fancher said, “and for that, he needs to be applauded.''

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Comments » 104

JCforUTVols writes:

I loved Bruce Pearl at Tennessee, we're going to miss him. Looking into the future?? Rick Byrd (Belmont?)

RockyToptoNeyland writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

PureOrange writes:

Thanks for the memories, Bruce. I really hate you made the mistake, but you paid dearly for it, and so are we. You did a lot of great things at UT.

1vavolfan writes:

This is probably the type of coach we will get. Heck he may wind up with the permanent job.

FWBVol writes:

I really thought this announcement wouldn't be for a couple of days. The thing is it is almost 4:30 in Knoxville and there is no official word, only the citing of unnamed sources.

There is no reason to believe this isn't true, so the UTAD needs to do the right thing and go ahead and make the announcement. The Lady Vols are playing in three-and-a-half hours and all the focus is on the Pearl situation.

ESPN has a crew in Knoxville to cover the Lady Vols so they will be all over this during the game tonight. It seems a poor way of handling things, but I guess it is what it is.

IdahoVol writes:

20 more years of mediocrity in mens bball, here we come. What a sad day...
From all the polls I have seen, fan support was anywhere from 75 - 90% for Pearl. Guess it's going to be tough selling more dadgum popcorn next season...

dcap8424 writes:

Nothing against Houston, but really?

al2476 writes:

I don't see how anyone could possibly be comfortable with Hammy trying to hire another coach. He has screwed the athletic department up royally and he has to go and hire Fulmer. He is not true to UT as he has shown with his hires to this point. As for the interim coach, get a head coach and a good one at that. As for Bruce Pearl thanks for your hard work and the great job you did with coaching the team. You made us a winner and I hope the best for you.

MidTennVol writes:

I could not care less about who the program hires to allegedly "replace" Bruce Pearl. Because that is impossible. You don't "replace" a guy like Bruce Pearl.

Good luck filling TBO the next 30-40 years, Cheek and Hamilton.

TkelynN writes:

How fitting... Wade Houston, now another Houston to return us back to earth's cellar, Houston we have a really big problem! Starts with a "ham" and ends with a "idiot"....

JohnnyD writes:

CHEEK need to CHECK out!!!!

lomas98 writes:

As the coach in the classic movie Teen Wolf once said, never trust someone that has the first name of a city.

CoverOrange writes:

"interim" means until next week until they hire Shaka Smart.

SummittsCourt writes:

Who the ??? is Houston fancher? A video scout that was fired by app st?

spiraling downward by the minute

TennVol01 writes:

Who in the world is Houston Fancher ?? Please tell me this is a very temporary position. Very few coaches in the NCAA can fill Bruce Pearl's shoes. The young coach for VCU may be a good replacement.

ZacharyUTK writes:

SHAKA SMART!

toldyouthatspsuckedfor3years writes:

in response to TennVol01:

Who in the world is Houston Fancher ?? Please tell me this is a very temporary position. Very few coaches in the NCAA can fill Bruce Pearl's shoes. The young coach for VCU may be a good replacement.

No it is not a temporary position. He is our permanent coach. Idiot!!!!

woodwr#217203 writes:

Someday the story of Bruce Pearl will be a good movie. The guy who won without cheating, and won without highly recruited players, got greedy in recruiting and stumbled dumb when cornered on his recruitng violations. He said all the right things..... just a little too late.

Maybe someday, like Steve Fisher, Bruce Pearl will resurrect himself and redeem himself.

UTKin1992 writes:

Hamilton will hire a safe pick like Derrick Dooley...or whoever his handlers tell him to. Regardless, it'll be a vanilla, boring individual...just like our athletic programs now.

BTW, if by any fortune Hamilton gets fired, could we please hire an AD that DOESN'T have a weasel face which needs a mustache to keep it from looking so weasel-ish, yet doesn't have a mustache, yet...wait whats that shadow on his upper lip? A mustache? No, can't be. Just a five o'clock shadow. But only on his upper lip? Weird.

Damn he needs a mustache.

AHOUSE writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

"interim" means until next week until they hire Shaka Smart.

Do not forget about Richmond Chris Mooney. He is better.

bfowler1161#262198 writes:

Okay, I dont have a problem with firing Pearl. I have a problem with how it was done. Either can him when the issue arises or if you say he is your man then stick with it. This is not leadership, this is stick you finger in the wind and see which way it is blowing. I stuck mine up, it seems Hamilton should be NEXT.

TennVol01 writes:

Shaka Smart, Head Coach of VCU is being flouted by ESPN as the next U.T. Head Coach once the tourney is over. Click on the link below for his resume.

http://www.vcuathletics.com/informati...

FrostyVol writes:

YEEESSSSSS!!! Houston Fancher!!! Thank the lord we got rid of Pearl. Finally we got ourselves a REAL basketball coach. Just as long as we dont have any more picnics, ur my man Houston!

bfowler1161#262198 writes:

Would you want to work for Hamster after Kippy Brown and Bruce Pearl. Yes, Pearl broke the rules and lied. Either fire him then or if you say you will back him up, then ride that horse.

HHUUMMBBLLEE writes:

shaka smart next UT coach

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to TennVol01:

Shaka Smart, Head Coach of VCU is being flouted by ESPN as the next U.T. Head Coach once the tourney is over. Click on the link below for his resume.

http://www.vcuathletics.com/informati...

Vol01,

Too early to tell my friend. I will say this, people were making jokes about VCU and we notice where they are in the tournament.

The reason I mention this is in reference to Smart and VCU, notice another former VCU coach is now in the SEC as head coach......at Alabama.

So we shall see.

Colliervol writes:

I have decided that some of our fans don't have enough sense to get in out of the rain. There are so many stupid statements on here today that I can't count them. Some so ignorant that I really shouldn't waste my time. But in the interest of sanity (mine), I'm going to make an exception to my rule of not even bothering with opinions on this site:

Fact #1: Houston Fancher is simply going to keep the seat warm and the office running till they hire who they want. Nothing more. Geez guys. Put on your reading glasses.

Fact #2: Bruce Pearl is not the only good basketball coach in the world. Unless the administration goes back to their old mode, they know what hiring a good coach means now. And if they go back to their old way of looking at men's basketball, they will get what they deserve. But I have a feeling that $2.5 to $3 million a year will attract a good coach.

Fact #3: A lot of you are tying Hamilton to Pearl AFTER Pearl messed up. How is that when just a few months ago Hamilton's detractors said that Mike didn't hire Pearl and doesn't get credit for that? (Supposedly at that time it was that Ernie Grunfeld arranged it with Jim Haslam.) Funny how the story conveniently changes to fit one's agenda. It has to be one or the other but not both. Which is it? Either Mike gets credit for the six record-setting years and a coach who made a mistake or it was Ernie Grunfeld and the board.

Fact #4: Trolls from other schools are glad that Pearl is gone because, for the most part, he owned them for the better part of six years. (And some of them have coaches who know how to play the game better than Pearl evidently did if you know what I mean. Kentucky) But they shouldn't make the mistake of thinking that we are leaving the building permanently. Maybe for a year or two with the change and the sanctions but if we get the right coach, the program isn't going anywhere. There is too much money, support and facilities for it to stay down now.

Fact #5: Some of you guys don't get it when it comes to the NCAA. I figure the chances are pretty good that those clowns let it be known through the grapevine that UT's rear was on the line on these sanctions. Keep Pearl and risk some really bad stuff. Get rid of him and we might not come down so hard. I'm sure the university knew what they had to do.

Fact #6: Bottom line on Hamilton. He's done a good job with what he's charged with. Making money for the program. Sure the Kiffin and Pearl things are going to be hung on his door even though the board is probably more to blame. I believe Mike is probably tired of this whole mess and will step aside soon, either to do just fund raising for the school or move on to something else. He does have several other interests that are very important to him and his family.

I just wish some of you clowns would think before you spout. You wouldn't embarrass yourselves so often if you did. As for me, I'm going to reserve judgement till I see who they hire.

Theo writes:

Yet again great timing by Hamilton. The Lady Vols play in less than two hours and he pulls this. Guess he wasn't satisfied with ruining the men's tournament. Pat and Bruce are really close and this is what Hamilton thinks of as an appropriate time to announce. Jeez, does he think at all?

Madkels writes:

I'm beginning to think my daughter being accepted at Bama and UGA this fall as an incoming freshman is a good thing. With all the turmoil at UT.....new President, new AD?, new BB coach, and new FB coach, maybe she will get a better education and my Alumni donations could be better spent elsewhere.

smokies_old_soul writes:

first, Houston Fancher is a very good coach in his own right.
second, Coach Fancher didn't say anything like, "I'm in charge now."

what he did say was very appropriate and respectful to Coach Pearl. he is just trying to give the players some leadership during this transition - and that's all he claimed he was doing. get off the guy's back. i'm guessing he would personally have been better off if Pearl had stayed since he will now have to find a new job after a permanent coach is hired.

TheInsidePitch writes:

Frank Martin at Kansas State, he is available TODAY. Maybe he would want to be at THE state University and not play second fiddle to UK.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Wow! I really don't understand the hatred on here. Some are attacking the "interim" as if HE were the replacement? I don't hate Pearl. I don't hate Hamilton, I don't hate any former coaches no players nor fans...I HATE hate! Let's just get on with the articles that talk about UT's future.

smokies_old_soul writes:

in response to Colliervol:

I have decided that some of our fans don't have enough sense to get in out of the rain. There are so many stupid statements on here today that I can't count them. Some so ignorant that I really shouldn't waste my time. But in the interest of sanity (mine), I'm going to make an exception to my rule of not even bothering with opinions on this site:

Fact #1: Houston Fancher is simply going to keep the seat warm and the office running till they hire who they want. Nothing more. Geez guys. Put on your reading glasses.

Fact #2: Bruce Pearl is not the only good basketball coach in the world. Unless the administration goes back to their old mode, they know what hiring a good coach means now. And if they go back to their old way of looking at men's basketball, they will get what they deserve. But I have a feeling that $2.5 to $3 million a year will attract a good coach.

Fact #3: A lot of you are tying Hamilton to Pearl AFTER Pearl messed up. How is that when just a few months ago Hamilton's detractors said that Mike didn't hire Pearl and doesn't get credit for that? (Supposedly at that time it was that Ernie Grunfeld arranged it with Jim Haslam.) Funny how the story conveniently changes to fit one's agenda. It has to be one or the other but not both. Which is it? Either Mike gets credit for the six record-setting years and a coach who made a mistake or it was Ernie Grunfeld and the board.

Fact #4: Trolls from other schools are glad that Pearl is gone because, for the most part, he owned them for the better part of six years. (And some of them have coaches who know how to play the game better than Pearl evidently did if you know what I mean. Kentucky) But they shouldn't make the mistake of thinking that we are leaving the building permanently. Maybe for a year or two with the change and the sanctions but if we get the right coach, the program isn't going anywhere. There is too much money, support and facilities for it to stay down now.

Fact #5: Some of you guys don't get it when it comes to the NCAA. I figure the chances are pretty good that those clowns let it be known through the grapevine that UT's rear was on the line on these sanctions. Keep Pearl and risk some really bad stuff. Get rid of him and we might not come down so hard. I'm sure the university knew what they had to do.

Fact #6: Bottom line on Hamilton. He's done a good job with what he's charged with. Making money for the program. Sure the Kiffin and Pearl things are going to be hung on his door even though the board is probably more to blame. I believe Mike is probably tired of this whole mess and will step aside soon, either to do just fund raising for the school or move on to something else. He does have several other interests that are very important to him and his family.

I just wish some of you clowns would think before you spout. You wouldn't embarrass yourselves so often if you did. As for me, I'm going to reserve judgement till I see who they hire.

gee, what did we do to be so fortunate as to have you take the time to share your thoughts and correct all us dumb hillbillies ??

vols37 writes:

Who is Mike Hamilton's boss? Hamilton is a disgrace.

punkin writes:

in response to Colliervol:

I have decided that some of our fans don't have enough sense to get in out of the rain. There are so many stupid statements on here today that I can't count them. Some so ignorant that I really shouldn't waste my time. But in the interest of sanity (mine), I'm going to make an exception to my rule of not even bothering with opinions on this site:

Fact #1: Houston Fancher is simply going to keep the seat warm and the office running till they hire who they want. Nothing more. Geez guys. Put on your reading glasses.

Fact #2: Bruce Pearl is not the only good basketball coach in the world. Unless the administration goes back to their old mode, they know what hiring a good coach means now. And if they go back to their old way of looking at men's basketball, they will get what they deserve. But I have a feeling that $2.5 to $3 million a year will attract a good coach.

Fact #3: A lot of you are tying Hamilton to Pearl AFTER Pearl messed up. How is that when just a few months ago Hamilton's detractors said that Mike didn't hire Pearl and doesn't get credit for that? (Supposedly at that time it was that Ernie Grunfeld arranged it with Jim Haslam.) Funny how the story conveniently changes to fit one's agenda. It has to be one or the other but not both. Which is it? Either Mike gets credit for the six record-setting years and a coach who made a mistake or it was Ernie Grunfeld and the board.

Fact #4: Trolls from other schools are glad that Pearl is gone because, for the most part, he owned them for the better part of six years. (And some of them have coaches who know how to play the game better than Pearl evidently did if you know what I mean. Kentucky) But they shouldn't make the mistake of thinking that we are leaving the building permanently. Maybe for a year or two with the change and the sanctions but if we get the right coach, the program isn't going anywhere. There is too much money, support and facilities for it to stay down now.

Fact #5: Some of you guys don't get it when it comes to the NCAA. I figure the chances are pretty good that those clowns let it be known through the grapevine that UT's rear was on the line on these sanctions. Keep Pearl and risk some really bad stuff. Get rid of him and we might not come down so hard. I'm sure the university knew what they had to do.

Fact #6: Bottom line on Hamilton. He's done a good job with what he's charged with. Making money for the program. Sure the Kiffin and Pearl things are going to be hung on his door even though the board is probably more to blame. I believe Mike is probably tired of this whole mess and will step aside soon, either to do just fund raising for the school or move on to something else. He does have several other interests that are very important to him and his family.

I just wish some of you clowns would think before you spout. You wouldn't embarrass yourselves so often if you did. As for me, I'm going to reserve judgement till I see who they hire.

Finally a post that makes sense. Thanks.

OwensboroVol writes:

Hamilton is the one who needs to fired. As usual, he accepts no responsibility for anything!

springtx_vol writes:

in response to Colliervol:

I have decided that some of our fans don't have enough sense to get in out of the rain. There are so many stupid statements on here today that I can't count them. Some so ignorant that I really shouldn't waste my time. But in the interest of sanity (mine), I'm going to make an exception to my rule of not even bothering with opinions on this site:

Fact #1: Houston Fancher is simply going to keep the seat warm and the office running till they hire who they want. Nothing more. Geez guys. Put on your reading glasses.

Fact #2: Bruce Pearl is not the only good basketball coach in the world. Unless the administration goes back to their old mode, they know what hiring a good coach means now. And if they go back to their old way of looking at men's basketball, they will get what they deserve. But I have a feeling that $2.5 to $3 million a year will attract a good coach.

Fact #3: A lot of you are tying Hamilton to Pearl AFTER Pearl messed up. How is that when just a few months ago Hamilton's detractors said that Mike didn't hire Pearl and doesn't get credit for that? (Supposedly at that time it was that Ernie Grunfeld arranged it with Jim Haslam.) Funny how the story conveniently changes to fit one's agenda. It has to be one or the other but not both. Which is it? Either Mike gets credit for the six record-setting years and a coach who made a mistake or it was Ernie Grunfeld and the board.

Fact #4: Trolls from other schools are glad that Pearl is gone because, for the most part, he owned them for the better part of six years. (And some of them have coaches who know how to play the game better than Pearl evidently did if you know what I mean. Kentucky) But they shouldn't make the mistake of thinking that we are leaving the building permanently. Maybe for a year or two with the change and the sanctions but if we get the right coach, the program isn't going anywhere. There is too much money, support and facilities for it to stay down now.

Fact #5: Some of you guys don't get it when it comes to the NCAA. I figure the chances are pretty good that those clowns let it be known through the grapevine that UT's rear was on the line on these sanctions. Keep Pearl and risk some really bad stuff. Get rid of him and we might not come down so hard. I'm sure the university knew what they had to do.

Fact #6: Bottom line on Hamilton. He's done a good job with what he's charged with. Making money for the program. Sure the Kiffin and Pearl things are going to be hung on his door even though the board is probably more to blame. I believe Mike is probably tired of this whole mess and will step aside soon, either to do just fund raising for the school or move on to something else. He does have several other interests that are very important to him and his family.

I just wish some of you clowns would think before you spout. You wouldn't embarrass yourselves so often if you did. As for me, I'm going to reserve judgement till I see who they hire.

Amen, amen, amen, amen, amen.

And I also agree with everything you have said; I tried to say the same things, just didn't do it as well as you did.

huntined#565710 writes:

in response to TheInsidePitch:

Frank Martin at Kansas State, he is available TODAY. Maybe he would want to be at THE state University and not play second fiddle to UK.

SMART CHOICE But TENN don't always make the SMART choice..

seymorehoops writes:

Pat Summitt said that UCONN's womens team was playing on the same field as UT because they set up a tour at ESPN for Maya Moore. Yet she can back Bruce Pearl??? Brad Stevens isnt coming. He wouldnt go anywhere last year, and nothing has changed. What about Rose at BYU??????

seymorehoops writes:

in response to HHUUMMBBLLEE:

shaka smart next UT coach

I wouldnt bet on it. Georgia Tech and Arkansas are both open and will most likely be calling him. He would be a good hire though if they can pull it off. But, it is far from a given.

eaglehim2 writes:

Coach Bob Knight

thesernotthedroids writes:

How about Bernard King or A. Houston....

8ball writes:

in response to Colliervol:

I have decided that some of our fans don't have enough sense to get in out of the rain. There are so many stupid statements on here today that I can't count them. Some so ignorant that I really shouldn't waste my time. But in the interest of sanity (mine), I'm going to make an exception to my rule of not even bothering with opinions on this site:

Fact #1: Houston Fancher is simply going to keep the seat warm and the office running till they hire who they want. Nothing more. Geez guys. Put on your reading glasses.

Fact #2: Bruce Pearl is not the only good basketball coach in the world. Unless the administration goes back to their old mode, they know what hiring a good coach means now. And if they go back to their old way of looking at men's basketball, they will get what they deserve. But I have a feeling that $2.5 to $3 million a year will attract a good coach.

Fact #3: A lot of you are tying Hamilton to Pearl AFTER Pearl messed up. How is that when just a few months ago Hamilton's detractors said that Mike didn't hire Pearl and doesn't get credit for that? (Supposedly at that time it was that Ernie Grunfeld arranged it with Jim Haslam.) Funny how the story conveniently changes to fit one's agenda. It has to be one or the other but not both. Which is it? Either Mike gets credit for the six record-setting years and a coach who made a mistake or it was Ernie Grunfeld and the board.

Fact #4: Trolls from other schools are glad that Pearl is gone because, for the most part, he owned them for the better part of six years. (And some of them have coaches who know how to play the game better than Pearl evidently did if you know what I mean. Kentucky) But they shouldn't make the mistake of thinking that we are leaving the building permanently. Maybe for a year or two with the change and the sanctions but if we get the right coach, the program isn't going anywhere. There is too much money, support and facilities for it to stay down now.

Fact #5: Some of you guys don't get it when it comes to the NCAA. I figure the chances are pretty good that those clowns let it be known through the grapevine that UT's rear was on the line on these sanctions. Keep Pearl and risk some really bad stuff. Get rid of him and we might not come down so hard. I'm sure the university knew what they had to do.

Fact #6: Bottom line on Hamilton. He's done a good job with what he's charged with. Making money for the program. Sure the Kiffin and Pearl things are going to be hung on his door even though the board is probably more to blame. I believe Mike is probably tired of this whole mess and will step aside soon, either to do just fund raising for the school or move on to something else. He does have several other interests that are very important to him and his family.

I just wish some of you clowns would think before you spout. You wouldn't embarrass yourselves so often if you did. As for me, I'm going to reserve judgement till I see who they hire.

Thanks for a great post..

Thermopyle writes:

Houston, we have a problem.

OwensboroVol writes:

This should tell everyone what they will come to know anyway, no decent Coach wants the job because if they did, there would be no interim coach. They would have announced the firing and hiring at the same news conference.

gglardon50#417841 writes:

Thank you Mr Hamilton.Finally someone who knows right from NOT right,Again a big thank you,

maciste54 writes:

in response to JCforUTVols:

I loved Bruce Pearl at Tennessee, we're going to miss him. Looking into the future?? Rick Byrd (Belmont?)

I'd be for that. Watched him coach at LMU. He's a good'un !

RealisticVol (Inactive) writes:

Mike Hamilton should be next to go!

MintHillVOL writes:

An open letter to the University of Tennessee President, UTK Chancellor and Board of Directors:

In light of the findings by the NCAA of "poor supervision" and "lack of controls" in the UT Athletics Department across both Football and Men's Basketball programs, I would strongly suggest that Mike Hamilton's lack of leaderships has created an atmosphere of complacency brought on by gross managerial incompetence.

Example #1: The hiring of Lane Kiffin to a multi-year contract (and large salary) with no buyout provision to protect the university in the unlikely event Mr. Kiffen is lured to another school or back to the NFL.

Example #2: Allowing Coach Pearl to believe he had carte blanch in recruiting by Mr. Hamilton turning his gaze away from recruiting activities of the coach.

Example #3: Tacit approval of Coach Kiffin and his staff using UT undergraduate students (female) as tools for recruiting.

In each case, Mr. Hamilton distanced himself from the coaches and their activities shortly after such activities were brought to light by newspaper reporters or NCAA infraction committee investigators.

The questions, gentlemen, are:
"What did Mike Hamilton know?"
"When did he know it?" and
"Why didn't he do anything to correct the situation or stop it?"

While I deeply regret the dismissal of Coach Pearl, the larger issues are the questionable management skills and ethics of the man who hired them both and was responsible for managing them and their programs.

I would ask that you compare his performance as the manager of Athletic Programs today to AD's of the past to understand how regrettable incidents like these were avoided under them but allowed to go unchecked during his watch.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to Colliervol:

I have decided that some of our fans don't have enough sense to get in out of the rain. There are so many stupid statements on here today that I can't count them. Some so ignorant that I really shouldn't waste my time. But in the interest of sanity (mine), I'm going to make an exception to my rule of not even bothering with opinions on this site:

Fact #1: Houston Fancher is simply going to keep the seat warm and the office running till they hire who they want. Nothing more. Geez guys. Put on your reading glasses.

Fact #2: Bruce Pearl is not the only good basketball coach in the world. Unless the administration goes back to their old mode, they know what hiring a good coach means now. And if they go back to their old way of looking at men's basketball, they will get what they deserve. But I have a feeling that $2.5 to $3 million a year will attract a good coach.

Fact #3: A lot of you are tying Hamilton to Pearl AFTER Pearl messed up. How is that when just a few months ago Hamilton's detractors said that Mike didn't hire Pearl and doesn't get credit for that? (Supposedly at that time it was that Ernie Grunfeld arranged it with Jim Haslam.) Funny how the story conveniently changes to fit one's agenda. It has to be one or the other but not both. Which is it? Either Mike gets credit for the six record-setting years and a coach who made a mistake or it was Ernie Grunfeld and the board.

Fact #4: Trolls from other schools are glad that Pearl is gone because, for the most part, he owned them for the better part of six years. (And some of them have coaches who know how to play the game better than Pearl evidently did if you know what I mean. Kentucky) But they shouldn't make the mistake of thinking that we are leaving the building permanently. Maybe for a year or two with the change and the sanctions but if we get the right coach, the program isn't going anywhere. There is too much money, support and facilities for it to stay down now.

Fact #5: Some of you guys don't get it when it comes to the NCAA. I figure the chances are pretty good that those clowns let it be known through the grapevine that UT's rear was on the line on these sanctions. Keep Pearl and risk some really bad stuff. Get rid of him and we might not come down so hard. I'm sure the university knew what they had to do.

Fact #6: Bottom line on Hamilton. He's done a good job with what he's charged with. Making money for the program. Sure the Kiffin and Pearl things are going to be hung on his door even though the board is probably more to blame. I believe Mike is probably tired of this whole mess and will step aside soon, either to do just fund raising for the school or move on to something else. He does have several other interests that are very important to him and his family.

I just wish some of you clowns would think before you spout. You wouldn't embarrass yourselves so often if you did. As for me, I'm going to reserve judgement till I see who they hire.

Standing ovation!

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