David Climer: Bruce Pearl is not in Tennessee Vols' future

Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl celebrates as he leaves the court after Tennessee upset No. 18 Vanderbilt 60-51 in Nashville.

Photo by Mark Humphrey / Associated Press, Associated Press

Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl celebrates as he leaves the court after Tennessee upset No. 18 Vanderbilt 60-51 in Nashville.

Would you welcome the return of Bruce Pearl as UT coach?

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The floor is open for debate on the performance of Cuonzo Martin as Tennessee’s basketball coach, but one factor should be removed from the discussion: Bruce Pearl.

Forget about him. He’s not coming back. Get over it.

Look, I feel your pain. I like the guy. Of all the people I’ve dealt with in this job, Pearl is one of my favorites. He is approachable, accommodating and glib. It’s never dull.

And the guy is one heckuva coach and promoter. He took a flat-lined program and made it special. He got the Vols to No. 1 in the nation for one heady week in February 2008. His 2010 team came within one defensive stop of going to the Final Four.

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Comments » 24

tenacvol#248890 writes:

He never really explains very well why it can't be done. I say it can if the right folks want it to happen. They should. He is the best thing that ever happened to TN basketball and he shouldn't be punished for the rest of his life because he made a mistake, just like everyone of us, including those that will ultimately make the decision.

Caspian writes:

in response to tenacvol#248890:

He never really explains very well why it can't be done. I say it can if the right folks want it to happen. They should. He is the best thing that ever happened to TN basketball and he shouldn't be punished for the rest of his life because he made a mistake, just like everyone of us, including those that will ultimately make the decision.

Totally agree. All the people who say it won't/can't happen never really back it up with specifics. They just seem to think that saying it automatically makes it so. There's a new dynamic in the UT Athletics Dept. Coupled with the right people, the right motivation, and the right circumstances - it most definitely could happen.

Pearl will be hired by someone shortly after August 2014.

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

The only way it could is by shipping Jimmy Cheek back to Florida and that couldn't happen fast enough to suit me.

spyfish007#225503 writes:

I would buy season tickets if they bring Bruce back. In other words, I'll put my $$ where my mouth is.

volnsc writes:

I'd say the odds of Brucie coming back are not in his favor. I also say , never say never. He may not take the job if offered but I'd welcome him back in a heartbeat. He made a mistake, he knows it, and it's time to get over it. I feel certain there are several teams waiting till August to go after him.

jakethevolguy writes:

in response to volnsc:

I'd say the odds of Brucie coming back are not in his favor. I also say , never say never. He may not take the job if offered but I'd welcome him back in a heartbeat. He made a mistake, he knows it, and it's time to get over it. I feel certain there are several teams waiting till August to go after him.

Trust me, I know for a fact that he dearly wants to coach the Vols again. And, that's not 2nd hand info either.

TommyJack writes:

Would love to see Bruuuuuce back in da blazer.

VibrantVol writes:

Jones is definitely a recruiter & a motivator, just like Pearl was & is. Can you imagine how great the optimism all over campus would be if Pearl were rehired?

Yes, I know Pearl's time in purgatory doesn't end until August, but he can be hired on as a "consultant" to the program once Martin is fired in March & then elevated to coaching status in the summer. He could build a coaching staff during that consulting period that could go & do the things that he can't do as "coach," such as recruit.

Since he wouldn't be the official coach, he could go to the Rocky Top league games this coming summer & unofficially coach there. That breaks no NCAA rules. The irony of his firing is that a totally new governance system will be in place next year for all bigtime schools that will eliminate what he did by having a BBQ at his home for high school juniors as a violation at all.

Snapshot writes:

in response to jakethevolguy:

Trust me, I know for a fact that he dearly wants to coach the Vols again. And, that's not 2nd hand info either.

I'm not sure how you "know for a fact that he dearly wants to coach the Vols again". Did he tell you that? I wonder why he would want to work for an administration that wouldn't back him up and left him twisting in the wind over something that should have been a slap on the wrist, if Hamilton or Cheek had a backbone he would still be the Vols coach.

As much as I would like to see him back, I just can't see it happening.

oldster writes:

Bruce should not be, but neither Cuonzo be.

VibrantVol writes:

in response to Snapshot:

I'm not sure how you "know for a fact that he dearly wants to coach the Vols again". Did he tell you that? I wonder why he would want to work for an administration that wouldn't back him up and left him twisting in the wind over something that should have been a slap on the wrist, if Hamilton or Cheek had a backbone he would still be the Vols coach.

As much as I would like to see him back, I just can't see it happening.

Cheek will see the handwriting on the wall & be "persuaded" to rehire Pearl. He won't have a choice with all of the hue & cry that will grow louder & louder with each passing loss. Cheek will let Hart be out front & take all credit for the hire & stay in the background until Pearl produces, & then will bask in the glow of Bruce's success. Pearl will outlast Cheek, who will retire soon anyway, as will DiPietro. Neither are longtimers, especially after Haslam gets more appointees on the UT Board in his second term as Governor. Hart is in his last job before retirement, too, but he will be one of the ones that will persuade Cheek if that becomes necessary, as Hart needs someone as insurance as a good hire in case Jones doesn't get us coached up to championship level in football.

Theo writes:

in response to Snapshot:

I'm not sure how you "know for a fact that he dearly wants to coach the Vols again". Did he tell you that? I wonder why he would want to work for an administration that wouldn't back him up and left him twisting in the wind over something that should have been a slap on the wrist, if Hamilton or Cheek had a backbone he would still be the Vols coach.

As much as I would like to see him back, I just can't see it happening.

When will you guys realize the problem was not the freakin' Bar B Que? Yes, that would have been a slap on the wrist. But instead Bruce showed an unbelievable amount of stupidity and hubris by lying about it. He got what he deserved. I love the guy and wish he were still our coach but we won't rehire a liar.

bUTch__please writes:

in response to Theo:

When will you guys realize the problem was not the freakin' Bar B Que? Yes, that would have been a slap on the wrist. But instead Bruce showed an unbelievable amount of stupidity and hubris by lying about it. He got what he deserved. I love the guy and wish he were still our coach but we won't rehire a liar.

Never will the legion of the miserable realize or acknowledge the culpability of Sir Bruce who by his own hand created his downfall.

vols1002 writes:

Bruce is one guy that can put Tenn. Basketball back on the map he can take less talent and win with it and he gets the crowd into the game with his coaching and I bet he would fill the seat in the arena again bottom line he makes University money!!!

tn10 writes:

Climber and John Adams are cut from the same cloth. May be correct that Bruce won't be back but he knows how to win and he puts people in the seats and will be a hot commodity come August. Because of this Cheek and Hart might have to answer questions when Bruce shows up at Georgia or some other similar school.

fannotsheep writes:

I wish that Climer was not a part of the Vols future.

It may be that Pearl won't be back at UT, but let's be clear: this team is way more than 3 seniors and 2 juniors. This was the year we were supposed to be Elite 8 material. This was two 5-stars on the court together and one of the SEC's best returning players (McRae) and a finally healthy Maymon, who played terrific before his injury.

Instead of a lock for the NCAA and worrying about seeding, here we sit watching losses pile up, knowing that it will be a long shot to make the Dance unless we win the SEC Tournament.

If Tennessee wanted to hire Pearl back they could. If the NCAA is not satisfied with the damage they've inflicted already they probably never will be. It's time for a house cleaning in the UT administration.

The fans may not have one voice as loud as the money bags who run the show, but boycott the games and see what happens. The product the UT brain trust is putting on the court -- and the gridiron for that matter -- is nearly unwatchable anyhow.

Lest you think there are any "other" motives for my dissatisfaction, consider this: If Jones is having no more success two years from now than Martin is having, and if his 2016 signing class is as poorly thought of as Martin's incoming class is, I will be calling for his job too. And goodness knows I wish Jones well and only want stability for the football program.

WaitUntilNextYear writes:

LOL, or to put it in grown up language laughing my six off from the comments of the desperate masses. Pearl had it made, he was rich and everyone loved him, except for the SEC. He is an idiot that lied (his true character) played his goofy son who is a loser, had his daughter sing( who is a Pilot lying loser, cut from the same cloth as daddy,) had a gang bang team that drove toward the airport got arrested on Christmas Eve, made the Elite 8, his greatest failure in the next game, but choked in a number of other games, liked 20 somethings, but so do a lot of middle aged portly married men, and frankly has a following of dreamers that don't remember anything but Brucee winning with Buzz's players.
HE AIN'T Coming Back!!!!!!!!!!Get over it!
Dr. DiPietro, Dr. Cheek, the Athletic Board, The Board of Trustees, and Vice Chancellor Dave "Bama" Hart aren't going anywhere when they choose to make a decision on Coach Martin.
They didn't bring back Phil who was screwed by that little loser Hamilton and they are not bringing the lying Pearl back. Has anyone listened to his assistant coaches? They hope he gets hit by a train for ruining their careers for a couple of years.
You morons that want Pearl back are the same ones that had male excitement relief for Kiffboy.
PEARL AIN'T COMING BACK!!!!!!!

Caspian writes:

in response to WaitUntilNextYear:

LOL, or to put it in grown up language laughing my six off from the comments of the desperate masses. Pearl had it made, he was rich and everyone loved him, except for the SEC. He is an idiot that lied (his true character) played his goofy son who is a loser, had his daughter sing( who is a Pilot lying loser, cut from the same cloth as daddy,) had a gang bang team that drove toward the airport got arrested on Christmas Eve, made the Elite 8, his greatest failure in the next game, but choked in a number of other games, liked 20 somethings, but so do a lot of middle aged portly married men, and frankly has a following of dreamers that don't remember anything but Brucee winning with Buzz's players.
HE AIN'T Coming Back!!!!!!!!!!Get over it!
Dr. DiPietro, Dr. Cheek, the Athletic Board, The Board of Trustees, and Vice Chancellor Dave "Bama" Hart aren't going anywhere when they choose to make a decision on Coach Martin.
They didn't bring back Phil who was screwed by that little loser Hamilton and they are not bringing the lying Pearl back. Has anyone listened to his assistant coaches? They hope he gets hit by a train for ruining their careers for a couple of years.
You morons that want Pearl back are the same ones that had male excitement relief for Kiffboy.
PEARL AIN'T COMING BACK!!!!!!!

I want Pearl back, and I had no "male excitement relief" (whatever that is) for "Kiffboy". Additionally, I am not a moron. It's quite possible Pearl could be rehired.

WaitUntilNextYear writes:

in response to Caspian:

I want Pearl back, and I had no "male excitement relief" (whatever that is) for "Kiffboy". Additionally, I am not a moron. It's quite possible Pearl could be rehired.

What is your position or what are your facts?
Do you know of anyone at UT?
Coach Martin may not survive another non-NCAA tournament with this team but there is not one person in a position of authority in the State of Tennessee that will resurrect the career of a former lying coach. There is more to his punishment than just the barbecue!
You can dream but you have no idea what you are talking about!

Snapshot writes:

in response to Theo:

When will you guys realize the problem was not the freakin' Bar B Que? Yes, that would have been a slap on the wrist. But instead Bruce showed an unbelievable amount of stupidity and hubris by lying about it. He got what he deserved. I love the guy and wish he were still our coach but we won't rehire a liar.

Yes Theo, I DO realize what the problem was. First of all it WAS the fact he had a high school junior, Aaron Craft, at his home, and that is against the rules, you can't entertain a junior off campus. Yes, he lied about it as everyone knows, but he also realized his mistake and asked for a second meeting with the NCAA.

I still contend that if Hamilton and Cheek weren't weasels he would still be our coach.

murrayvol writes:

in response to WaitUntilNextYear:

LOL, or to put it in grown up language laughing my six off from the comments of the desperate masses. Pearl had it made, he was rich and everyone loved him, except for the SEC. He is an idiot that lied (his true character) played his goofy son who is a loser, had his daughter sing( who is a Pilot lying loser, cut from the same cloth as daddy,) had a gang bang team that drove toward the airport got arrested on Christmas Eve, made the Elite 8, his greatest failure in the next game, but choked in a number of other games, liked 20 somethings, but so do a lot of middle aged portly married men, and frankly has a following of dreamers that don't remember anything but Brucee winning with Buzz's players.
HE AIN'T Coming Back!!!!!!!!!!Get over it!
Dr. DiPietro, Dr. Cheek, the Athletic Board, The Board of Trustees, and Vice Chancellor Dave "Bama" Hart aren't going anywhere when they choose to make a decision on Coach Martin.
They didn't bring back Phil who was screwed by that little loser Hamilton and they are not bringing the lying Pearl back. Has anyone listened to his assistant coaches? They hope he gets hit by a train for ruining their careers for a couple of years.
You morons that want Pearl back are the same ones that had male excitement relief for Kiffboy.
PEARL AIN'T COMING BACK!!!!!!!

"everyone loved him, except for the SEC."

Not really. What he did when was an assistant at Iowa cannot be tolerated in big time coaching circles. Silent prayers of thanks followed his crash and burn at UT.

beckerbb#606002 writes:

in response to snowpeapod#263184:

The only way it could is by shipping Jimmy Cheek back to Florida and that couldn't happen fast enough to suit me.

Him and Dave Hart.

fannotsheep writes:

I think it is hilarious the amount of hate aimed by one or two idiots at Pearl. Don't you just hate it when someone is successful, gets rewarded for it monetarily and then finds a beautiful young wife when you can't?

What he did as an assistant coach was not murder folks. He basically did exactly what Fulmer did to Alabama, and I didn't see a bunch of UT fans line up to get rid of Phil for that.

The fact is that Pearl did have trouble adjusting and getting used to having the prima donna athletes on his side. But he proved he could win big with players that couldn't beat a good high school team under Buzz. And I will bet you he would be 9-1 at worst with this team.

Who the hell is Cheeks? What is he so successful at? From what I have heard he is the obstacle. So UT fans, you are the ones who spend your money and time supporting the Vols. Who is in charge? Is having an elite program out of our reach because we dare not upset the apple cart?

If Coach K wants something at Duke, I bet the chancellors and AD do back flips to see who can get it for him first. And regardless what detractors, KY fans and idiots say, Pearl is in that elite category as a coach, from Xs and Os to recruiting and marketing a program. Based on what he accomplished so soon at a football school where no one at ESPN or in other media gave him a chance at succeeding, Pearl is the best men's basketball coach UT EVER had, and he is in the top 5 SEC all time.

sseivers#1394928 writes:

Lose Cheek, Hire Bruce. I don't want to see any more 37 point games. Everyone loves Bruce and he has done his penance.

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