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Anderson Not At Arkansas (Yet). Pearl Still At Tennessee (For Now).

“A press conference is coming soon to announce that Missouri’s Mike Anderson is heading to Arkansas for a $2 million-a-year deal.”

Or not.

“A press conference is coming soon to announce that Tennessee’s Bruce Pearl has been dismissed.”

Or not.

Welcome to the SEC where backdoor dealing, politicking and rumor-mongering are an art form.  We’ll keep you up to date on both stories as the day the moves forward, but here’s our kickoff:


There have been dozens of conflicting reports regarding Anderson in the last 48 hours.  Some have said that Anderson has already agreed in principle with the Hogs on a five-year deal worth $2 million per season.  Others have reported that Anderson’s agent — Jimmy Sexton — has leaked the price tag in an effort to drive up Anderson’s value (and salary) at Missouri.  And still others have said that Anderson has not even spoken with UA yet.

Not surprisingly, a lot of the talk so far has been generated by a) Twitter and b) out-of-state media types looking for Twitter hits.  Example: A television sports anchor from Tulsa, Oklahoma reported that “reports out of Arkansas” said Anderson was heading to Fayetteville on Twitter… and the Razorback Nation went berserk. 

But for now, there’s still smoke everywhere without a flame to be seen.  That could change today, but a lot of folks are currently wasting time on this subject… 140 characters at a time.


In Knoxville, Vol fans are waiting for word that their beloved basketball coach has been dismissed.  By Friday night, several key Tennessee boosters had indicated that a change was coming.  And more than one Bruce Pearl assistant indicated to the press that they knew their fates had been sealed.

But no announcement came on Sunday, which surprised most.  And with spring practice kicking off with media day on Rocky Top today, it’s possible no announcement will come Monday either.  That quiet has led to rumors and speculation.

One hot one involves a sudden change of heart from UT’s chancellor and two biggest boosters.  The theory — Tennessee will keep Pearl but dismiss athletic director Mike Hamilton and replace him with David Blackburn, the man who tried to rein in Lane Kiffin and ultimately saved the Vols from steeper NCAA accusations.

However, it’s still believed by most that UT is simply working out a buyout with its coach.  Much to the chagrin of several Vol fans who held a “save Pearl” rally yesterday.

We’ll have much more on both Anderson-to-Arkansas and Pearl-from-Tennessee this morning.


Hog Fan in the Rock
Hog Fan in the Rock

The reports on Anderson aren't conflicting. In fact they are generally consistent and all signs point to Anderson's agent, Jimmy Sexton. He has likely negotiated an offer of five years @ $2MM from Arkansas; he has likely leaked this offer to Mizzou to see if they will counter; and he, not Mike A, has been in contact with Arkansas. Anderson cannot speak to Arkansas directly without permission from Mizzou (apparently that's in his contract). My guess is he won't make the request until the deal is done in principle. And he certainly won't interview for the job in any conventional sense. It's his if he wants it. If not, we all move on. WPS, GHG.


A a TN fan, I admit I like Pearl because he wins and creates publicity, of all types.
I don't condone what he did, especially the lying and attempting to scare the parents at the BBQ by telling them if they talked their son would be punished by the NCAA. On the other hand, the NCAA rules need to be simplified. It's OK to have a home BBQ for a SR, but not a JR. Why? It's OK to watch a HS player at his games, but it's not OK to be polite and talk to him for one or two minutes. Why? These aren't major violations. UT has fined Pearl 1.5 million.
If we regulated Wall St 10% as much as college coaches, we might not have a destroyed economy. Am I rationalizing? Yeah, I'm good at it.


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