John Adams: Schools should be waiting in line to hire Bruce Pearl

John Adams
Lady Vol head basketball coach Holly Warlick, right, talks with former Tennesse men's basketball coach Buce Pearl before the BMAze Celebrity Basketball game at Hardin Valley Academy. (Photo by Wade Payne, Special to the News Sentinel)

Photo by Wade Payne, © 2013 The Knoxville News Sentinel

Lady Vol head basketball coach Holly Warlick, right, talks with former Tennesse men's basketball coach Buce Pearl before the BMAze Celebrity Basketball game at Hardin Valley Academy. (Photo by Wade Payne, Special to the News Sentinel)

Bruce Pearl outlined in an interview this week what he would look for in another coaching job.

The former Tennessee basketball coach’s answer wasn’t surprising.

To paraphrase: He would like a new job just like his old one.

“It’s going to need to be somebody that has the vision that Tennessee had,” Pearl told Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com. “Tennessee had a vision to try to get its men’s basketball program to the level of its football program and where Pat Summitt had the women’s basketball program.

“They said, ‘We’re winning in everything else. We want to do it in men’s basketball, too. So that would be the job I would want.”

Tennessee got just what it wanted and more from Pearl — at least until he ran afoul of the NCAA a few years ago. And boy, has he paid for it.

He lost his job after the 2010-11 season. He got slapped with a three-year “show-cause” penalty, which basically means a school could risk incurring the NCAA’s wrath by hiring him before the penalty expired.

The penalty will expire in 364 days, if not sooner.

You would think the NCAA wouldn’t have a problem with a school hiring Pearl at the end of next season. By then, he would have paid his dues for lying to NCAA investigators about a recruiting violation.

Since then, Pearl has expressed remorse in a number of interviews and got on with his life as best he could outside of coaching.

He took a job as vice president of marketing for the H.T. Hackney Company in Knoxville. He took another job as an ESPN college basketball analyst.

He seems happy with that. But no matter how happy he might be, how could he say “no” to another coaching job if it met his criteria?”

And how could any school serious about reviving its program not ask?

Start close to home. Kentucky with John Calipari and Florida with Billy Donovan are the only schools in the SEC who couldn’t improve themselves by hiring Pearl.

So what if some of those programs are winning. Pearl doesn’t just win games. He sells tickets by promoting as well as he coaches.

The average SEC basketball coach is an empty suit when it comes to promotions. And the average SEC arena has way too many empty seats.

Pearl’s appeal would hardly be limited to the SEC. He could fit in anywhere.

Don’t bother asking “What about the NCAA stigma?”

Think Kentucky was worried about the NCAA stigma when it hired Calipari, who is the only coach to have a Final Four appearance vacated at two schools (Memphis and UMass)?

Although Calipari wasn’t personally implicated by the NCAA in either case, he didn’t achieve coaching sainthood, either. In fact, he has been credited more with staying ahead of the posse than adhering to the rule book.

Since his hiring at Kentucky, he has won one national championship and contended for two others.

Pearl didn’t win a national title at UT. But he took the program to new heights in the NCAA tournament and averaged 24 victories per season in his six years on the job.

Given the necessary resources, there’s no reason to think he couldn’t do as much somewhere else.

And given his track record, there’s no reason to think schools won’t be lining up to hire him after next season.

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Comments » 133

flatrock writes:

Vandy should hire Bruce- pairing him with his brother-from-another-mother, James Franklin...He could appeal to get Ramar Smith an early release from Brushy Mountain...he would be a great fit with the Dirty 'Dores...GO BIG GRAY!

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor wish him the best. Witch Doctor will be shocked though if its D-1. Witch Doctor just heard the NCAA stopped investigating Johnny Football(to lazy to check his last names spelling)so then again...maybe not. Witch Doctor say he had it all before he threw it all away.
Go Bruce best wishes!
Bones never lie.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

I say hire him back if we aren't in the NCAAs in a few years anyhow. Not worried though 'cause we'll be there this year!

I can only say I hope he's learned that telling the truth is always...ALWAYS the best option. And that's the truth.

tomkats3242 writes:

Tennessee would be smart in hiring Bruce again. The program is not going to go anywhere scheduling easy games just for a win. They will not win many SEC games and probably will not recruit any worth while players. Sorry Martin but you were dumb to accept Hamilton's offer to start with. When is Martin going to get any mix on the team. Why do we recruit from the jails? Football time in Tennessee so who cares about Basketball now?

tovolny writes:

Look for Pearl in Memphis for the 2014/2015 college basketball season. This will depend on how well the Tigers do this season. Boston College might make a run for the big time and come up with the 4.5 million it will take to get him. What's Tennessee's chances of welcoming Bruce Back. Coach Martin (I like this guy) would possibly take up the Purdue position and open the door. But all this would depend on what the Haslams and Holland think about the situation. I haven't talked to any of the high profile donors...I am just talking through my hat. Tomorrow, I will probably feel completely different after eating some prime rib at the Copper Cellar. If you haven't eaten at the CC for awhile, come on out...wear a UT shirt and the drinks are on me.

volzcrushm writes:

in response to tomkats3242:

Tennessee would be smart in hiring Bruce again. The program is not going to go anywhere scheduling easy games just for a win. They will not win many SEC games and probably will not recruit any worth while players. Sorry Martin but you were dumb to accept Hamilton's offer to start with. When is Martin going to get any mix on the team. Why do we recruit from the jails? Football time in Tennessee so who cares about Basketball now?

Yes...Get Pearl back!! Boot Martin!!

GreerVol22 writes:

I hate to say it but the ever expanding ACC will gobble him up. Clemson would hire him in a skinny minute and empty the warchest to get him.

bc85ec56#1419583 writes:

Yeah, because schools which purport to educate as their main goal really should hire "leaders" who are known liars and cheats. That makes sense. Stout work, Adams.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

good grief. Look at the scum you've gotten on here Witchy. You and your comments.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

good grief. Look at the scum you've gotten on here Witchy. You and your comments.

Witch Doctor put on troll repellent(?)
Bones never lie.

LaneBrains writes:

He would be a perfect fit at 'SC with us...our AD here, like Hammy at UT, knows what it takes to win. It would be good to have CBP run interference for us again.

CLK, Monte and Ed

mocsandvolsfan writes:

I guess maybe probably they might not all be trolls. maybe.

UTKin1992 writes:

I would:

A.) Fire Martin
B.) Hire Pearl
C.) Tell the rest of the world to bite me

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

I guess maybe probably they might not all be trolls. maybe.

Witch Doctor pretty sure its Rucker and his posse trying to drum subscribers to their pay site. Witch Doctor say what else other than a safe haven for posters can they offer?...Sport ? BWHAHAHAHA...
(lol, jk)
Bones never lie.

BigBadVol writes:

in response to tomkats3242:

Tennessee would be smart in hiring Bruce again. The program is not going to go anywhere scheduling easy games just for a win. They will not win many SEC games and probably will not recruit any worth while players. Sorry Martin but you were dumb to accept Hamilton's offer to start with. When is Martin going to get any mix on the team. Why do we recruit from the jails? Football time in Tennessee so who cares about Basketball now?

What a moronic post! Have you seen any of the recent recruits? Get your head out of your azzzzzzz!

tnsportsman writes:

in response to UTKin1992:

I would:

A.) Fire Martin
B.) Hire Pearl
C.) Tell the rest of the world to bite me

120% Agree! Hire BRUUUUUUUCE Pearl back now VOLS! Its Time AD Dave Hart! Show Cause Is OVER!

GO VOLS!

NCAA = ZERO Creditability!

CoverOrange writes:

Pearl was blackballed for 16 years by the Div I ADs for a lesser crime. It would have to be an AD not a member of the good ole boys network that would offer him.

The1 writes:

Martin's last year to make something big happen. If he doesnt get it done this year, Pearl is back next year.

798orange writes:

I thought John was in football mode with the opener just days away. Stories about Pearl might get more attention down the road. Maybe he has run out of angles in which he can criticize Fulmer.

UkJarhead writes:

I have always found it amazing how you people bash Cal, who has never been suspected, accused, or convicted of breaking a single rule. Yet you can't wait to have an admitted, convicted, and sentenced cheater and liar back as a coach. Priceless

cdldoc#211897 writes:

If this team cannot get to the Sweet Sixteen, Bruce needs to come back. With this group he would contend for the title. Of course he has to bring his old assistants back too. THEY were a large part of his success.

tfortennessee writes:

in response to UkJarhead:

I have always found it amazing how you people bash Cal, who has never been suspected, accused, or convicted of breaking a single rule. Yet you can't wait to have an admitted, convicted, and sentenced cheater and liar back as a coach. Priceless

The same was true for Al Capone too. But like Capone, they will eventually get the Squid too.

798orange writes:

in response to UkJarhead:

I have always found it amazing how you people bash Cal, who has never been suspected, accused, or convicted of breaking a single rule. Yet you can't wait to have an admitted, convicted, and sentenced cheater and liar back as a coach. Priceless

Accused or convicted, no. Suspected, what planet were you on?

VolsFanInAfghanistan writes:

in response to tovolny:

Look for Pearl in Memphis for the 2014/2015 college basketball season. This will depend on how well the Tigers do this season. Boston College might make a run for the big time and come up with the 4.5 million it will take to get him. What's Tennessee's chances of welcoming Bruce Back. Coach Martin (I like this guy) would possibly take up the Purdue position and open the door. But all this would depend on what the Haslams and Holland think about the situation. I haven't talked to any of the high profile donors...I am just talking through my hat. Tomorrow, I will probably feel completely different after eating some prime rib at the Copper Cellar. If you haven't eaten at the CC for awhile, come on out...wear a UT shirt and the drinks are on me.

I didn't hear anything you said other than wear a UT shirt and the drinks are on you. Good thing i'm not home yet or I would come to CC and shout at the top of my lungs wheres tovolny, he's buying!!!

jdogg44 writes:

The ONLY question the NCAA investigators came to ask was about the pictures from Pearl's home with him entertaining recruits (a minor violation) ALL THE OTHER QUESTIONS ASKED were only to set up Pearl to see if he'd lie and he lied and others lied too. (MAJOR VIOLATION).... but now other programs can trust him to do the right thing. hahahahahahahahahah hahahahahahahah THAT'S the funniest thing I've EVER heard.... John Adams .... puh ...

UkJarhead writes:

in response to 798orange:

Accused or convicted, no. Suspected, what planet were you on?

Suspected by jealous fans don't count.

dvols writes:

Memphis....

now hush it JA....

he can't coach but he is a great clown !

that's all TN needs is more dope smoking gun totin thugs!

Thanks Coach Zo for being a real coach!

eduardo writes:

The best 6 yr run in the history of UT Mens Bball! Boy do I miss those days! We have 0 visibility w CCM. I would hire Pearl back in a minute. And I would be like 1 comment said and tell the NCAA to bite hard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

798orange writes:

in response to UkJarhead:

Suspected by jealous fans don't count.

I believe the suspicions of those in the media who wrote in their columns about suspected allegations might count as well as a bunch of nonpartisan basketball fans who kept up with it back when it was a bigger story.

UkJarhead writes:

in response to eduardo:

The best 6 yr run in the history of UT Mens Bball! Boy do I miss those days! We have 0 visibility w CCM. I would hire Pearl back in a minute. And I would be like 1 comment said and tell the NCAA to bite hard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So baggage doesn't matter? You want wins? Sounds reasonable. Hmmmm, So Cal a good hire?

chattabluetick writes:

And don't forget he knows how to through a really mean barbecue for recruits!

fearthehound writes:

in response to jdogg44:

The ONLY question the NCAA investigators came to ask was about the pictures from Pearl's home with him entertaining recruits (a minor violation) ALL THE OTHER QUESTIONS ASKED were only to set up Pearl to see if he'd lie and he lied and others lied too. (MAJOR VIOLATION).... but now other programs can trust him to do the right thing. hahahahahahahahahah hahahahahahahah THAT'S the funniest thing I've EVER heard.... John Adams .... puh ...

I'm sorry, but if you're going to post on our Volunteer site, troll of some sort, please actually use the English language so we can figure out what it is you're trying to say. Did you go to Kentucky or Alabama (God forbid)? Your haha's are a little out of control...

fearthehound writes:

I really like Martin. His recruiting is very good, and he is steadily building a very good program at UT. I don't think we can ignore that, but we need to see what this year yields as far as W/L and his team for the future. Pearl was great for Tennessee and I'd love to have him back, but we can't ditch Cuonzo at this time--he's doing a good job of building and getting some good recruits. Am I wrong in this, my real non-troll Vol buddies?

OwensboroVol writes:

I've said it many times on here, BRUCE PEARL SHOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN FIRED TO START WITH. If Tennessee has any sense at all it will rehire Pearl immediately and yes tell the NCAA to butt out! He is quite simply the best Coach that UT has ever had in Basketball and it isn't even close!

arkyvol writes:

if Tennessee gives a tinker's damn about its reputation, it can't hire Pearl back. That being said, he was the best men's basketball in Tennessee history.

snafu14u#241639 writes:

in response to OwensboroVol:

I've said it many times on here, BRUCE PEARL SHOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN FIRED TO START WITH. If Tennessee has any sense at all it will rehire Pearl immediately and yes tell the NCAA to butt out! He is quite simply the best Coach that UT has ever had in Basketball and it isn't even close!

Correct. Bonzai Vol

fearthehound writes:

In the immortal words of that great philosopher Bobby Boucher, 'the soich continues'.

alfrizzle097 writes:

sigh. The fire Martin talk is hilarious. He is yet to finish worse than fourth in the SEC and had extenuating circumstances in his first two years.

This is his third year and I'm guessing they make the NCAA tourney easily. Even if they have a year about like last year, is that really cause for termination?

What happened to actually letting coaches have four years? If I were Bruce Pearl, I wouldn't want anything to do with Tennessee. Not because of any grudge he might hold or fear of poor perception... I wouldn't come because the fan base wants to answer anything short of historic success with termination.

Devoe was fired. Houston was fired. Oneil was fired. Green was fired. Peterson was fired. Pearl was fired.

In that list you have three of the four most successful coaches that UT has ever had.

Battle was fired. Majors was fired. Fulmer was fired. Kiffin left after one year. Dooley was fired. So its been since 1970 since you've had a football coach end on good terms.

They're already calling for the athletic director's head and you even have a vocal contingent that wants to fire the chancellor over sports (not even close to his primary focus).

So yeah. No wonder they haven't been able to land the big fish they hoped for. I'm hoping Jones and Martin can be successful, but even if they perform admirably I'm guessing there is a good chance they're fired in a few years.

Colliervol writes:

in response to UkJarhead:

I have always found it amazing how you people bash Cal, who has never been suspected, accused, or convicted of breaking a single rule. Yet you can't wait to have an admitted, convicted, and sentenced cheater and liar back as a coach. Priceless

"Never been suspected"? You didn't know much about him before he got to KY did you? Two words for you. Worldwide Wes. I guess those two vacated Final Fours mean he wasn't "suspected". Please. Only difference between Pearl and Cal is that Cal is better at covering things up. 90% of the nation's fans agree with me too. That's why KY gets so little respect nationally for that tainted title. Everybody knows how it was gotten. And now the NCAA is too toothless to do anything about it.

alfrizzle097 writes:

in response to Colliervol:

"Never been suspected"? You didn't know much about him before he got to KY did you? Two words for you. Worldwide Wes. I guess those two vacated Final Fours mean he wasn't "suspected". Please. Only difference between Pearl and Cal is that Cal is better at covering things up. 90% of the nation's fans agree with me too. That's why KY gets so little respect nationally for that tainted title. Everybody knows how it was gotten. And now the NCAA is too toothless to do anything about it.

To be fair, those final fours were about player actions, not his. Now, to me it strains credulity to say that Calipari wasn't at least intentionally turning a blind eye those situations, so its fair I think to say he was suspected in the eye of public opinion.

Now... things like Rose's brother riding on the plane with the team. News flash. They were giving benefits to his agent. Yes, his agent is his brother. Which is still unallowable.

All this being said, if you are going to criticize UK for having him around, you certainly can't advocate rehiring Pearl and still have any ground to stand on.

MR_VOL writes:

in response to tovolny:

Look for Pearl in Memphis for the 2014/2015 college basketball season. This will depend on how well the Tigers do this season. Boston College might make a run for the big time and come up with the 4.5 million it will take to get him. What's Tennessee's chances of welcoming Bruce Back. Coach Martin (I like this guy) would possibly take up the Purdue position and open the door. But all this would depend on what the Haslams and Holland think about the situation. I haven't talked to any of the high profile donors...I am just talking through my hat. Tomorrow, I will probably feel completely different after eating some prime rib at the Copper Cellar. If you haven't eaten at the CC for awhile, come on out...wear a UT shirt and the drinks are on me.

I too have heard that Memphis has whispered Bruce's name as head coach. As for Memphis, I agree with your statement about it will also depend on how well the current coach does. With that said, there is also an SEC university that wants Bruce, but I believe Slive will pull a “Patrino” on Bruce. I have a friend that is a loyal and good donor to an SEC university and from what he has told me “their inner circle” made the decision to pursue Bruce as soon as he was let go at UT.

As for me, I agree with an above poster, as I would have never fired Bruce. I would have taken whatever penalty the NCAA decided and kept the coach that turned around a very pitiful program with only a handful of fans, and took it to heights never before witnessed. I would rather have Bruce with six or seven players and no post season versus Martin with a full bench and post season--two years in a tournament filled with, at best, average teams only to be eliminated early, on our home court no less.

Snapshot writes:

in response to UkJarhead:

So baggage doesn't matter? You want wins? Sounds reasonable. Hmmmm, So Cal a good hire?

So Cal does have some baggage, huh? You can't have it both ways ukknucklehead. You are never going to convince people anywhere, and especially in Tn. that Cal is anything less than a slimeball, which he IS!!

WaltGoVoIs writes:

Someone should be looking to hire John Adams, or not.

Bruce Pearle? - when all we can think of is "IT'S FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE!"

John has recently had nothing better to do than bash a coach who's been gone 4 years, and now this? There are a few milestones to cover before March Madness, John.

Maybe your idiotic and untimely rant results from the fact that all your football sources told you to stick it, John.

I am asking - is your boss happy with the drivel you produce?

Walt

UT '81

fratricide08 writes:

I don't have anything against Martin but I'd welcome Pearl back in a heartbeat.

Vols4Ever writes:

in response to Colliervol:

"Never been suspected"? You didn't know much about him before he got to KY did you? Two words for you. Worldwide Wes. I guess those two vacated Final Fours mean he wasn't "suspected". Please. Only difference between Pearl and Cal is that Cal is better at covering things up. 90% of the nation's fans agree with me too. That's why KY gets so little respect nationally for that tainted title. Everybody knows how it was gotten. And now the NCAA is too toothless to do anything about it.

The 'Cheating Cat fan base has always existed in a state of denial/delusion with the integrity of their coaches. Rupp never received probation, there wasn't any cash in the envelope on the UPS turnstile, and Cal wasn't around the 2 programs that had to vacate NCAA Final Four appearances.

And gravity is an illusion since the sun revolves around the earth.

FeelVol writes:

Sorry Mr.Adams i'm not buying it, I have moved on with this Pearl drama.

Henley-Street-Bridge writes:

I would Holly not stand to close to Bruce, the lying cheat part of him might rub off. If Bruce is going to be such a hot commodity now, how about Phil Fulmer?
(No for the same reason; one's a lying cheat the other can't take responsibility and man up to the past.. neither will never change either)

NowHearThis writes:

in response to WaltGoVoIs:

Someone should be looking to hire John Adams, or not.

Bruce Pearle? - when all we can think of is "IT'S FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE!"

John has recently had nothing better to do than bash a coach who's been gone 4 years, and now this? There are a few milestones to cover before March Madness, John.

Maybe your idiotic and untimely rant results from the fact that all your football sources told you to stick it, John.

I am asking - is your boss happy with the drivel you produce?

Walt

UT '81

Little ditty is getting responses at 2:30 in the morning. I'd say boss will be pretty happy this morning.

Memphis makes sense, they still have the stink of Calipari on them without any of the benefit. Why not go for broke?

juststopwhining writes:

Pearl is a great coach and a fantastic marketer. But he has a track record of screwing up practically everywhere he goes. I don't wish him any harm, but I don't want to see him back at the helm of UT's basketball program.

As an aside, I find it entirely believable and true-to-form that Adams would be saying in this article "Forget about coach Pearl's track record of bad decisions and the NCAA heat he brought down on UT. Hire this guy." Adams is sleazy, just like Pearl, but without Pearl's charm.

tovolny writes:

in response to VolsFanInAfghanistan:

I didn't hear anything you said other than wear a UT shirt and the drinks are on you. Good thing i'm not home yet or I would come to CC and shout at the top of my lungs wheres tovolny, he's buying!!!

Don't mention tovolny, just wear the shirt and see what happens. By the way, I was just talking about last night, and one guy with a black shirt with a power T and a good looking young lady with a no. 18 Bronco shirt got free drinks. I felt the # 18 was close enough. Also, it was me, not the establishment. The only association I have with CC is that I go there a lot. Seems my car just turns into the parking lot...somewhat like aa autonomic nervous system response...who knows?

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