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Pearl “Thought About” Not Coaching UT Against UConn

Tennessee’s Bruce Pearl has hit the halfway mark of his SEC suspension.  His Vols are 2-2 in the league and coming off back-to-back wins over Vanderbilt and Georgia (on the road).  This weekend his team will head to Hartford to match up against #8 UConn.  Pearl will be back on the bench, though he briefly considered sitting this one out.

“I thought about it… and wasn’t sure what purpose it would serve.  We’ve put some unprecedented penalties on our program — there’s no question that the visibility of it all — and (the penalties) have played a part in some of our struggles as it should.  That’s what happens when you get suspended, that’s what happens when… you’ve got self-imposed penalties.”

Pearl was also asked about the many national pundits — Jay Bilas, Dick Vitale, Digger Phelps — who have said he should have been fired or should be suspended for at least a year.

“They have a job to do.  These decisions (about the punishments) are made by people with all the information.  So sometimes it’s puzzling when people make strong statements when they don’t have all the facts.”

If Pearl can lead Tennessee to victory against UConn — and how many NCAA references do you think will be made in a game featuring Pearl and Jim Calhoun? — it will be the Volunteers’ third win of the season against a highly-ranked Big East foe on a neutral court.  UT has already beaten Villanova in New York City and Pittsburgh in the Steel City (though away from their home gym).


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