Bruce Pearl: Don't end Vols-Tigers

Former UT head basketball coach, Bruce Pearl, at his home in Knoxville on Aug. 25, 2011.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Former UT head basketball coach, Bruce Pearl, at his home in Knoxville on Aug. 25, 2011.

I still live in Knoxville, Tenn., and this week, all the talk around town has centered around the possibility that tonight’s Memphis-Tennessee game (8 ET, ESPN2) will be the last time the two rivals will play for the foreseeable future. Memphis coach Josh Pastner has been adamant about discontinuing the series with the Vols and was quoted in the Knoxville News-Sentinel as saying, “We will not play Tennessee anymore as long as I'm the head coach and I'm doing my scheduling.”

Reports emerged Thursday, however, that Memphis athletic director Tom Bowen and Tennessee AD Dave Hart were discussing a possible extension to the current arrangement. Our Andy Katz has the latest on the mini-drama here.

I talked to Coach Pastner as he boarded the plane to come to Knoxville, and he admitted that they were in fact going to take another look at it.

Continue reading at ESPN.go.com.

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Comments » 40

volhome writes:

No slight to Coach Martin, but I wish that we had taken whatever penalties may have come with it and kept Bruce as coach. You will never find a more personable, approachable, friendly man who happens to have plenty of coaching skills. So what if we had signed up for a down year or few, CBP could have and would have brought us back.

GetEmVols writes:

Yea, I like Martin, but I feel like keeping Bruce and getting death penalty is better than firing Bruce and getting Martin. Sorry Martin, but Bruce was THAT good.

SevenT writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

voloffaith writes:

Win at all cost ,apparently, for the first two posters. Forget integrity...yeah I could see it now as Coach is on in home visit...oops...penalty issues...yes mister or misses so an so I will teach your son how to be a respectable man and value his word......y'all forgot some of them details that would get in the way of your PIPE dream....

ashvol7 writes:

in response to GetEmVols:

Yea, I like Martin, but I feel like keeping Bruce and getting death penalty is better than firing Bruce and getting Martin. Sorry Martin, but Bruce was THAT good.

How could you ever think the death penalty is better than firing Bruce and hiring Martin? That would set the program back five years or more plus the loss of revenue. All Pearl had to do was tell the truth, he might have gotten a slap on the wrist and that is about all. He thought lying was better. The school had no choice.

Ironcity writes:

Loved Pearl at UT, wish he was here.

voloffaith writes:

in response to Ironcity:

Loved Pearl at UT, wish he was here.

No No Pink Floyd was "Wish You Were Here"

Ironcity writes:

in response to ashvol7:

How could you ever think the death penalty is better than firing Bruce and hiring Martin? That would set the program back five years or more plus the loss of revenue. All Pearl had to do was tell the truth, he might have gotten a slap on the wrist and that is about all. He thought lying was better. The school had no choice.

Hers the deal ALL the coaches lie to the NCAA. The problem with Bruce is he got caught. The real issue is the NCAA lets schools lie and never follow up. With Bruce they set him up so they could get rid of him. Nothing new here its how the NCAA operates. Rest assure if they had the same info on coach K or coach Williams, they would have NEVER asked the questions they had the answers to.

born2ride writes:

Bring Bruce Pearl back when his show cause is up. He's the best coach ever at UT. Martin isn't recruiting the same caliber players and his style of play is questionable.

Lets beat Memphis!

mrvol2u writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Win at all cost ,apparently, for the first two posters. Forget integrity...yeah I could see it now as Coach is on in home visit...oops...penalty issues...yes mister or misses so an so I will teach your son how to be a respectable man and value his word......y'all forgot some of them details that would get in the way of your PIPE dream....

I like Martin and I think he will get the job done.

That being said, apparently recruits and their families don't have a problem with character issues.

Cases in point, Ricky P at UL seems do be doing quite well after "tipping" at least one waitress on the table and Cal at UK has a large wake of NCAA misdeeds following him around.

I could go on but the point being, college basketball is filthy business without scruples or ethics. To pretend otherwise is just wishful thinking.

GburgOrange writes:

Thanks Bruce. Don't leave town. May be a job opening in a year or so.

ashvol7 writes:

in response to Ironcity:

Hers the deal ALL the coaches lie to the NCAA. The problem with Bruce is he got caught. The real issue is the NCAA lets schools lie and never follow up. With Bruce they set him up so they could get rid of him. Nothing new here its how the NCAA operates. Rest assure if they had the same info on coach K or coach Williams, they would have NEVER asked the questions they had the answers to.

Who is they? Why would the NCAA want to set Bruce up to get rid of him?

JBruce writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Win at all cost ,apparently, for the first two posters. Forget integrity...yeah I could see it now as Coach is on in home visit...oops...penalty issues...yes mister or misses so an so I will teach your son how to be a respectable man and value his word......y'all forgot some of them details that would get in the way of your PIPE dream....

Let him that is without sin cast the first stone... I for one will admit, I have lied in order to cover my butt on more than one occasion. Im not condoning it, but I think most people would have done the same... Bruce should have had his pay cut substantially and he should have been put on probation, but I still believe he should have been able to keep his job.

volhome writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Win at all cost ,apparently, for the first two posters. Forget integrity...yeah I could see it now as Coach is on in home visit...oops...penalty issues...yes mister or misses so an so I will teach your son how to be a respectable man and value his word......y'all forgot some of them details that would get in the way of your PIPE dream....

Actually, I said that was willing to take the penalties associated with CBP being retained. Yes, he lied and yes, he did get caught. Strangely, in the big scheme of things, that is more important to the NCAA than players being paid cash elsewhere. Whatever. B*^&% slap us, and let us keep CBP. I woud have been fine with that.

Again, absolutely no disrespect to CCM. I just felt that the NCAA was too harsh with us, and we should have taken it and said, nanny-nanny boo-boo to the NCAA..

snafu14u#241639 writes:

in response to ashvol7:

How could you ever think the death penalty is better than firing Bruce and hiring Martin? That would set the program back five years or more plus the loss of revenue. All Pearl had to do was tell the truth, he might have gotten a slap on the wrist and that is about all. He thought lying was better. The school had no choice.

The UTAD let Pearl down, as they knew what the NCAA was going to ask and that they had the right answer but did not give Pearl the heads up.....and that was their job. Had it been handled smartly this would have been blip on the radar. Incompetence by Hamilton etc. I'm still more than miffed by it. Bonzaivol

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

What a first half. Should have put Stokes back in before getting too far behind. Wont help to have him in the game if we are 20 down.

What's with Golden? Playing like a freshman lately.

sly_stone99#434111 writes:

Memphis put on a first half clinic. I really think CCM has to try a little zone defense. Tigers are shredding the Vols man to man.They are too quick and athletic for the Vols. Golden is chasing after Joe Jackson like he is winded, dayum.

cubs_fantoo#1339500 writes:

I would love to see Bruce Pearl get a second chance at reviving the UT Mens Basketball program. The electricity and the way the game was played was in the mix of one of the top 25 programs.

I cannot stand the direction Martin has taken and chooses to play. 35 to 48 points avg per game is sad. Defense does win, however, the approach to the game he has taken is horrible. Quality leader in terms of producing quality men. However, this is not what VOL Nation wants to see. It is all we seen in the 80s and 90s. CRANK IT UP MARTIN!

Come on Dave, the show cause for Pearl ends this year....please table him for the 2014 season!

orangevagabond writes:

The University of Tennessee is showing outstanding consistency. Can't compete in football or basketball.

Vol43 writes:

I'd take Bruce.

vol68 writes:

Photo caption "Former UT head basketball coach, Bruce Pearl, at his home in Knoxville on Aug. 25, 2011".

How do we know for sure that picture was taken at his home? It could be anywhere with him standing in front of a wall and bushes.

redskinvol1 writes:

That was the sound of Tn bubble being popped.Just one more year next year of Coach Martins style of close loses and not making the tourney then Bruce will be able to come back.I MISS BRUCE!!

bobe4544 writes:

Love Bruce. Wish you were our coach. Cannot play quality teams and beat them like Martin does. See how we came back when we started playing an up tempo game. These players cannot play slow down ball and win the big ones.

AFTiger writes:

Does anyone give a c-r-a-p what this clown thinks?

AFTiger writes:

BTW: The reason Memphis wants to cut the Vols is so they have one less cupcake on their schedule.

Ironcity writes:

in response to ashvol7:

Who is they? Why would the NCAA want to set Bruce up to get rid of him?

That goes back to the Iowa incident with Thomas. There is a reason it took Pearl so long to get a head coaching job. Their is a reason so many coaches hated Pearl. He is not a saint but I would argue 0% of the coaches in the NCAA are saints so the real argument is how much cheating is to much? I think a barbeque is not enough for what the NCAA succeeded in doing.

redskinvol1 writes:

Bring back Bruce!!!!!!!!!!!!

UTMaster04 writes:

Bruce is a good coach. But there are other good coaches out there and give CCM a chance. We don't need our coaches telling boldface lies and disgracing our programs. Bruce had his chance and he blew it. Move on.

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to cubs_fantoo#1339500:

I would love to see Bruce Pearl get a second chance at reviving the UT Mens Basketball program. The electricity and the way the game was played was in the mix of one of the top 25 programs.

I cannot stand the direction Martin has taken and chooses to play. 35 to 48 points avg per game is sad. Defense does win, however, the approach to the game he has taken is horrible. Quality leader in terms of producing quality men. However, this is not what VOL Nation wants to see. It is all we seen in the 80s and 90s. CRANK IT UP MARTIN!

Come on Dave, the show cause for Pearl ends this year....please table him for the 2014 season!

Yes, Bruce brought excitement, but he also can no longer be trusted. There is no way in he!! UT would bring him back as coach. The NCAA would be all over us

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to SevenT:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Thank you KNS for allowing suggest removal to work on this clowns post. Could you now please include a suggest removal for his ip address

mike#208050 writes:

in response to UTMaster04:

Bruce is a good coach. But there are other good coaches out there and give CCM a chance. We don't need our coaches telling boldface lies and disgracing our programs. Bruce had his chance and he blew it. Move on.

Coach Martin will never embarrass UT with the cheating & Lying Bruce Pearl did. I'm a Memphis fan and I respect your current coach. Get off his back and give him the time to get better talent in the program. As a Vol fan you owe him that. Josh Pastner has proven you can get quality players, playing by the rules! Good Luck Coach Martin the rest of the year! Move on Vol fans!

That_One_Fellar writes:

in response to I_OWN_MANY:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Must be nice to be so perfect... Good to know you've never lied to cover you're own ash... Always remember, when you're pointin a finger at someone, three are pointin right back atcha... Just sayin...

RememberWhen writes:

in response to volhome:

No slight to Coach Martin, but I wish that we had taken whatever penalties may have come with it and kept Bruce as coach. You will never find a more personable, approachable, friendly man who happens to have plenty of coaching skills. So what if we had signed up for a down year or few, CBP could have and would have brought us back.

you just don't get it do you? First, TN DID take the penalties that Pearl brought. Second, there is no way they could have kept him simply because you can't have a head coach that can't have contact with recruits for three years! As for the personable, approachable, friendly part - you obviously don't know the man very well.

RememberWhen writes:

in response to mike#208050:

Coach Martin will never embarrass UT with the cheating & Lying Bruce Pearl did. I'm a Memphis fan and I respect your current coach. Get off his back and give him the time to get better talent in the program. As a Vol fan you owe him that. Josh Pastner has proven you can get quality players, playing by the rules! Good Luck Coach Martin the rest of the year! Move on Vol fans!

LMAO!!! Martin may not ever embarrass TN the way Pearl did but he's dang sure on the road to embarrassing them with the team he's putting on the floor! Time to get talent? He HAD talent when he got here!! They haven't gotten better and the recruits he's brought in aren't anywhere near what Pearl was getting! Pastner playing by the rules? Now THAT is just too damned funny!! Don't let your fandom blind you - Pastner is an expert at using his boyish good looks, charming personality, and polite style as cover for his rampant backdoor shenanigans when it comes to recruiting! And by the way - the talent he's getting is on a big downward curve as well. The fact is BOTH of these programs are on a downward curve and BOTH have returned to being irrelevent - AGAIN!

RememberWhen writes:

in response to Ironcity:

That goes back to the Iowa incident with Thomas. There is a reason it took Pearl so long to get a head coaching job. Their is a reason so many coaches hated Pearl. He is not a saint but I would argue 0% of the coaches in the NCAA are saints so the real argument is how much cheating is to much? I think a barbeque is not enough for what the NCAA succeeded in doing.

LMAO AGAIN!! You just crack me up! Still thinking it was all about a little BBQ huh? You are either still in total denial with that BP mancrush you have or are just the slowest learner on the planet....which is it?

RememberWhen writes:

in response to JBruce:

Let him that is without sin cast the first stone... I for one will admit, I have lied in order to cover my butt on more than one occasion. Im not condoning it, but I think most people would have done the same... Bruce should have had his pay cut substantially and he should have been put on probation, but I still believe he should have been able to keep his job.

as for continuing this series...it really doesn't matter because both programs are headed nowhere but down. Neither is getting the quality of players they got under previous coaches and neither of the current coaches can actually coach the game and develop players. Pastner and Martin will have new addresses within three years - bet on it!

Ironcity writes:

in response to RememberWhen:

LMAO AGAIN!! You just crack me up! Still thinking it was all about a little BBQ huh? You are either still in total denial with that BP mancrush you have or are just the slowest learner on the planet....which is it?

Yes its about a lie that he made where he got caught. As I posted earlier EVERY coach in major college basketball cheats and lies. EVERYONE!! Some are given slaps on the wrist like Williams at NC and others get set up and drop kicked liked like Pearl. You can think that these guys are all honorable men and that our coach was not but with the money and pressure involved these guys do what they must.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Ironcity:

Hers the deal ALL the coaches lie to the NCAA. The problem with Bruce is he got caught. The real issue is the NCAA lets schools lie and never follow up. With Bruce they set him up so they could get rid of him. Nothing new here its how the NCAA operates. Rest assure if they had the same info on coach K or coach Williams, they would have NEVER asked the questions they had the answers to.

I don't doubt anything you said. Bruce has been a marked man in college basketball ever since that Iowa-Illinois thing. However, he is a smart man and HAD to know that there were factions who wanted him gone. He needed to "shun the very appearance of evil" as the Bible says, and he CERTAINLY should have told the truth when questioned about the barbecue. I hate that he allowed that to happen, but to use the trite phrase, it is what it is.

cdldoc#211897 writes:

Come home Bruce! We can wait a few years for you to rebuild Tennessee Basketball because you proved you can do it.

Basketvol writes:

in response to RememberWhen:

you just don't get it do you? First, TN DID take the penalties that Pearl brought. Second, there is no way they could have kept him simply because you can't have a head coach that can't have contact with recruits for three years! As for the personable, approachable, friendly part - you obviously don't know the man very well.

I agree with you right up to the last part. I met Bruce Pearl on several occasions and he was always very friendly and personable. After meeting him, he went out of his way to greet me and my wife on more than one occasion. I wish he was still our coach, but he's not. I wish nothing but the best for him in whatever he does in the future and nothing but the best for Cuonzo Martin as head coach of UT basketball.

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