Fans react to Tennessee's firing of coach Bruce Pearl
Vol Hoops 2010-2011: Out-Dribbled by Distraction and Disappointment
Kevin Ware said he faxed a request to be released from his national letter of intent to the NCAA and the University of Tennessee on Monday after coach Bruce Pearl was fired.
“I think the AD really messed everything up,'' said Ware, a guard from Rockdale County High School in Conyers, Ga. He is ranked as the No. 56 player in the nation by Rivals.com.
Ware said he resented UT athletic director Mike Hamilton assuring him and other players on March 6 that Pearl would return as coach.
“Right after (Tennessee) lost to Kentucky, they pulled us into a little area where they watch film,'' Ware said. “(Hamilton) came in there talking to everyone, saying Bruce would be here for sure.
“I really didn't appreciate that, and Bruce was right there in front of him, he was saying he had his contract and we want Bruce here for the next couple years,'' he said. “I was thinking everything would be cool.''
“I don't know what happened from then until now; everything was fine from what he was saying.''
UT has the option of releasing Ware from his scholarship.
If not, Ware will have to sit out a season and pay for his own education for a year if he chooses to attend another Division I school. Ware would be eligible to play immediately at a junior college.
The Vols signed only one other player to date in the Class of 2011, guard Chris Jones. Jones could not be reached for comment.