UT signee Kevin Ware asks for release; Hamilton told him March 6 that Pearl would return

Fans react to Tennessee's firing of coach Bruce Pearl

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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.

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Comments » 148

VOLFORLIFE writes:

Turn him loose. It's the decent thing to do.

GO LADY VOLS!!!
JUGHEAD

allenf1#223463 writes:

If true, would you expect less from our lying little weasel AD!! Hamilton must go. President and Trustees, are you listening to the TN faithful?? Fire him now!

orangecountyvols writes:

Hammy,

You are building a case against yourself.

ScrewKiffin writes:

“I think the AD really messed everything up,'' said Ware... Last, Last straw for Hamilton. He HAS to go!!!!!!!

larrycook99#274374 writes:

If this is true, and I do not doubt it is, then more in the UT administration need to go. Standing behind one's word is what matters and the administration has shown they do not. It is this that will damage the university most, not what Bruce did. For the foreseeable future we will not be trustworthy.

VolsToTheWall writes:

before this starts...Hamilton did not lie. He supported Pearl, wanted him to be here next year, and nearly lost his job trying to support him. I know this won't stop the outrage that will come, but its all a game. We as fans have no idea the stuff that goes on behind the closed doors. Hamiltons just a puppet for Cheek, the President, and Haslam.

HallowedHill writes:

If the Ham lied to the kid, the honest thing to do is release him.

TopTenn writes:

in response to allenf1#223463:

If true, would you expect less from our lying little weasel AD!! Hamilton must go. President and Trustees, are you listening to the TN faithful?? Fire him now!

Jimmy Cheek lied too.

kcpboarder writes:

WOW...anyone here what Vitale just said on Sportscenter? Said Hamilton said to his face with other ESPN employees that Bruce would be the coach next year....100% sure he would!!

BobbyBoober writes:

mike hamilton Fired Phill Fulmer, one of the winningnest coaches in college football. Sure he was a conservative boring coach but he gave us a national championship. Mike replaced him with a cocky immature spoiled baby who irritated everyone he possibly could and has failed at every coaching job hes ever had . But he did hire the Bruce Pearl who blewup, then fizzled and burned . Mike fire yourself and on your way don’t touch the Lady Vols. Them girls been playin quality ball for years

HtownVol writes:

MAN...NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Chris Jones and Kevin Ware are the only chance UT has to staying competative for the next few years.

It is not a over reaction. If we dont get them we end up getting 2-3 two (three at best) star recruits and it will likely be the begining of a horrible roster rebuilding.

UT better get on the ball ASAP and make the right choice in a coach but do it fast enought that he will be able to salvage these recruits.

I cant stress enough how much UT needs Ware and Jones. Golden is not a starting PG and if we do not get Jones we are stuck with Trae. I am not saying Trae is horrible, just that he is no where near ready to be a starter.

Harris and Hopson will be gone, Harris for sure and Hopson will not have a better season next year under a new HC.

With Harris, Hopson, BW, Fields, Bone and SP gone I say again "UT NEEDS WARE AND JONES!!!!!!!"

Please dont leave kids!

UT fans will support you no matter the coach. Dont punish the UT fans for Mike Hamilton being a idiot.Please!

rab63 writes:

So Hamilton tells a bigger lie than Pearl and gets to keep his job.....where's the justice?

37803Vol writes:

Hamilton LIED! Hamilton LIED!! Pearl got fired for lying so Hamilton has to be fired, too! I'm outraged because I graduated from Kevin's school and was looking forward to his arrival at UT. For sure there will be no real team this fall.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

AAAARRRGGGGHHH! Will the madness never end!!!?????????ARRRRRRghghghghgheeeeeiieeeeeehhhhhaaaaaaahhhulppp Arrrrrruuhhhgghguyuughghhhgheeeeiiieeehhhhssssduuhhhhaaaahhhlp eeeeeeiiieeeedfhhheeeee etc etc.

alfrizzle097 writes:

in response to mtnsvol44:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I hope to god you are trolling, because you represent the worst in fanship this side of boosters paying athletes.

To criticize a guy for wanting to know what coach he is going to play for is ridiculous.

What would you do if you decided to attend UT for their notable business management program... and then they fired every professor in the department? You would probably find another school. That's all the kid is asking for the opportunity to do.

Colliervol writes:

Unfortunately folks none of these kids these days are signing because of the school be it football or basketball. Everybody involved will tell you that these kids sign with the coach and not the school. Read the article last week in Sports Illustrated about Calipari. Do you think all those studs (Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans, etc) signed with Memphis because of the school? They signed because of Calipari. Just like Wall, Cousins, Jones, and Knight have done. Even mighty Kentucky's history and tradition wasn't getting those kids till they hired Cal. It's a different world out there and it's all the coach nowadays.

If Ware wants to go somewhere else, that's his right. And if what he said is true about Hamilton, I think that is more fuel to the argument that UT has been told something from the NCAA in the last couple of weeks to make them change their minds.

kcpboarder writes:

This situation is beginning to seem like a movie I have seen.....Oh yeah, it's called Groundhog Day!

pms151 writes:

in response to allenf1#223463:

If true, would you expect less from our lying little weasel AD!! Hamilton must go. President and Trustees, are you listening to the TN faithful?? Fire him now!

They are not listening to any of us. If they were they would understand the serious mistake they have already made. They don't even have the balz to address the issue. Tell me how giving a guy a hotdog at your house is worse than lying to recruits.

ScrewKiffin writes:

FIRE Hamilton by tomorrow, hire a new AD ASAP, then rehire Pearl cuz he is our only chance of having a decent team the next few years and to tick off Hamilton.

Lean_and_Hungry writes:

The only way to make your voices heard is to keep your wallets closed.

volspaws writes:

Mike Hamilton?? PUT THIS FREAKING CLOWN IN THE UNEMPLOYMENT LINE BEFORE HE CAUSES ANY MORE NATIONAL HUMILIATION TO A PROUD AND STORIED ATHLETIC PROGRAM! A Clemson man?? running the UT athletic department???? Don't let the door hit ya, where the good lord split ya, Hammy

schymtz writes:

Only the beginning, now that the NCAA knows Tennessee can be pushed around. Good luck where ever you go, Mr. Ware.

1vavolfan writes:

In my book lying to an 18 year old kid about his future is worse than lying to the NCAA about a barbeque. That is your beloved university for ya. Cheek and Hamilton told us all they were sticking by Pearl and then they lied to us all.

born2ride writes:

Why is Hamilton still our AD?

winVol writes:

FIRE HAMILTON ,,FIRE HAMILTON UT WIL NOT SEE ANY MORE MONEY FROM AS LONG AS HAMILTON IS AD. FIRE HAMILTON BUT I WILL WILL ALWAYS BE A VOL

maciste54 writes:

I feel like puking in Hamilton's face !

TheREALFightSong writes:

in response to VolsToTheWall:

before this starts...Hamilton did not lie. He supported Pearl, wanted him to be here next year, and nearly lost his job trying to support him. I know this won't stop the outrage that will come, but its all a game. We as fans have no idea the stuff that goes on behind the closed doors. Hamiltons just a puppet for Cheek, the President, and Haslam.

I have to agree. For all we know, Hamilton probably thought that was the truth when he talked to the signees. While I certainly don't agree with or condone many decisions Hamilton has made, I don't think it's fair to put all of this blame on him; from the reports we have now, it sounds as if some of this blame should be placed on Cheek's shoulders.

12Hours writes:

in response to VolsToTheWall:

before this starts...Hamilton did not lie. He supported Pearl, wanted him to be here next year, and nearly lost his job trying to support him. I know this won't stop the outrage that will come, but its all a game. We as fans have no idea the stuff that goes on behind the closed doors. Hamiltons just a puppet for Cheek, the President, and Haslam.

You are 100% right!
Mike fought to theend for Bruce, but Cheek and the new President said to fire him.
They are also the ones who told Mike to let it be known in the radio interview.
Mike is taking a beating for this and the irony is that he truly wanted Bruce and thought the others did as well.
They changed when the NCAA let them know how bad punishments would be if Bruce stayed.
The NCAA doesn't take it well when someone lies to them and their employer supports them.
You haters need to realize you are angry with the wrong guy.
Blame Cheek and the new Pres if you must blame someone for going back on their word.
But mainly blame Bruce for giving the NCAA more ammo so the Pres and Cheek had to go back on their word.

OldNumber7 writes:

So what punishment does Hamilton get for lying?

steph3474 writes:

in response to TheREALFightSong:

I have to agree. For all we know, Hamilton probably thought that was the truth when he talked to the signees. While I certainly don't agree with or condone many decisions Hamilton has made, I don't think it's fair to put all of this blame on him; from the reports we have now, it sounds as if some of this blame should be placed on Cheek's shoulders.

From what I understand, this decision was made by Cheek and the new UT system president and MH simply followed orders.

Yes, MH knows absolutely nothing about sports and he needs to either move to a strictly fundraising role for the University or (preferably) leave entirely. With the vast majority of the Vol Nation now calling for Hamilton's head, I have to wonder how effective he can be even in a strictly fundraising role.

winVol writes:

in response to Lean_and_Hungry:

The only way to make your voices heard is to keep your wallets closed.

amen amen amen amen

Madkels writes:

Let the kid go. Then leave yourself you piece of whale dung.

77VolFS writes:

Guys - stop hating on the kid. He didn't do anything except want to play for Bruce. He's disappointed - as am I and thousands of others. I would be the first to say that the way this has been handled is horrible - did the man not even get a chance to gracefully exit with a resignation after all he's done? Now, all your Hamilton-haters need to be reminded of a bleacherreport.com article that I forwarded last night that points alot of the blame at Cheek capitulating to the NCAA and forcing this on Hamilton, who has been in Bruce's corner throughout. I don't know if it's true, but Hamilton may have been genuine in his thoughts and had a forced change put on him by Cheek. Let's give it some time - truth will come out.

allvol87 writes:

Apparently the Hamilton Plan to destroy one sport at time and then rebuild them from scratch. First football, now men’s basketball, watch out Coach Summitt!

BigVolDaddy writes:

Hamilton just ruined the next 5 recruiting classes!

BigVolDaddy writes:

Hey Ware.... Do you wanna play football?

james#216392 writes:

in response to VolsToTheWall:

before this starts...Hamilton did not lie. He supported Pearl, wanted him to be here next year, and nearly lost his job trying to support him. I know this won't stop the outrage that will come, but its all a game. We as fans have no idea the stuff that goes on behind the closed doors. Hamiltons just a puppet for Cheek, the President, and Haslam.

Are you family trying to save his pay check? Since it was behind closed doors, I'm sure you would not have any more info than we do.

It wasn't Cheek, President or Haslam that opened their big mouth on radio. Hamilton needs to go for the over all good of the program. All our men's teams are in the lower portion of the SEC.

straightshooter writes:

Releasing all signed recruits for this year is the only rightful option. Isn't just having a kid with a potentially promising career waste it with the now disposed UT basketball program.

Tobias, I hope you make it in the NBA.

murrayvol writes:

in response to Colliervol:

Unfortunately folks none of these kids these days are signing because of the school be it football or basketball. Everybody involved will tell you that these kids sign with the coach and not the school. Read the article last week in Sports Illustrated about Calipari. Do you think all those studs (Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans, etc) signed with Memphis because of the school? They signed because of Calipari. Just like Wall, Cousins, Jones, and Knight have done. Even mighty Kentucky's history and tradition wasn't getting those kids till they hired Cal. It's a different world out there and it's all the coach nowadays.

If Ware wants to go somewhere else, that's his right. And if what he said is true about Hamilton, I think that is more fuel to the argument that UT has been told something from the NCAA in the last couple of weeks to make them change their minds.

When Hamilton talked to those guys I believe he was telling the truth as he knew it. Bruce was his hire but not his fire.

james#216392 writes:

in response to straightshooter:

Releasing all signed recruits for this year is the only rightful option. Isn't just having a kid with a potentially promising career waste it with the now disposed UT basketball program.

Tobias, I hope you make it in the NBA.

I would not release anyone for 30 days. Hire a new coach and let them meet with the signees. They may find they like him as good or better than Pearl.

If not, then I would release them.

Volubull writes:

how many coaches did we go through before we found someonethat could get us to the tourny every year? From Houston to Buzz we coudn't win. so lets fire the best coach we have had in 25 years over a bbq

james#216392 writes:

in response to Volubull:

how many coaches did we go through before we found someonethat could get us to the tourny every year? From Houston to Buzz we coudn't win. so lets fire the best coach we have had in 25 years over a bbq

Don't forget the bump

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

Let's see, Hamilton fires Bruce Pearl for lying, right?

james#216392 writes:

in response to PatientlyWaiting:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You obviously don't understand recuiting. They sign with the coach, not the school. A lot of schools can offer good educations. You look for a coach who you feel has your best interest in mind. I went through the process.

To these players, that was Pearl. Then again, they may just like good BBQ!!)

75VOLinga writes:

in response to Lean_and_Hungry:

The only way to make your voices heard is to keep your wallets closed.

I don't think you have to worry much about that. The stadium will probably only be at best half full and you're right, money talks.

james#216392 writes:

in response to 75VOLinga:

I don't think you have to worry much about that. The stadium will probably only be at best half full and you're right, money talks.

The stadium will still be full but the GYM may be half full, like before. At least I can get extra seats for my friends when their teams come to visit.

Outdated writes:

in response to HallowedHill:

If the Ham lied to the kid, the honest thing to do is release him.

How will TN ever recruit another top player unless they respect the players request for a release if they were signed under false pretense.

NashvilleVolsincebirth writes:

in response to ScrewKiffin:

FIRE Hamilton by tomorrow, hire a new AD ASAP, then rehire Pearl cuz he is our only chance of having a decent team the next few years and to tick off Hamilton.

I must agree. We have made a TERRIBLE mistake and I could not imagine a more perfect style of coaching and love of UT than that man exhibits. I will ALWAYS want someone like Coach Mears and he was it for me. Shaka of VCU is our best bet but we won't be smart enough to get him if we keep hammy and cheeks. I would say Hammy could stay if they fired Cheeks and came out with a "he had to do what his boss told him to do or we would terminate his contract too" story. THEN we could look past his part in this debacle.
REHIRE BRUCE, NOW!!

ROCKYTOP2010 writes:

in response to james#216392:

Don't forget the bump

It's not because of the BBQ, it's because Bruce lied to the NCAA. If Bruce would have admitted to the kids being at his house then that would have been a secondary violation at most and none of this would have ever happened

gillblog writes:

in response to murrayvol:

When Hamilton talked to those guys I believe he was telling the truth as he knew it. Bruce was his hire but not his fire.

I'm sure you're right about Hamilton's beliefs at the time of the meeting, but this only serves to reinforce the negative image he and the UT sports administration are building for themselves. An AD who isn't to be trusted because he is nothing more than a puppet and a President/Chancellor who are so inept at managing their athletics departments they can't maintain a coherent, consistant strategy in dealing with the NCAA.
Jay Bilas said it on ESPN today, 'UT has made itself look very bad overall throughout the BP situation'.

So, again, the question is who in their right mind would want to come here to coach or even play men's basketball?

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