Albama Arkansas Auburn Florida Georgia Kentucky LSU Mississippi State Missouri Ole-Miss USC Tennessee Texas A&M Vanderbilt
Latest News

Pearl Didn’t Tell UT About Bump Rule Violation; School’s Support Wavering

Apparently Tennessee officials had a good reason for not self-reporting a bump rule violation that took place last September, just four days after a press conference announcing self-imposed penalties against Bruce Pearl… Pearl didn’t tell the school about the violation.

In an interview scheduled to run this afternoon on WNML-AM/FM in Knoxville, UT athletic director Mike Hamilton tells radio host Jimmy Hyams that the school found out about Pearl’s accidental bump with a recruit at Virginia’s Oak Hill Academy when the NCAA informed them of it in November.

At the time, Hamilton continued to say that Tennessee wanted to keep Pearl as its head coach even if the NCAA handed him a one-year suspension.  But that support seems to be wavering.

“We don’t know the answer today,” the AD said when asked if Pearl will return.  “We’ve done a lot of soul searching about the direction of our program and we’ll continue to do that and we’ll decide after we’re out of the NCAA Tournament what direction it is that we’re going to go next.”

“We’re not going to finish our evaluation until after the season is over.”

It’s possible that the media backlash against Pearl’s post-presser bump violation — as well as UT’s disappointing season — have eroded some of the coach’s base.  He is still working without a contract at this time.  Asked if Pearl is bothered by that fact, Hamilton said: “I’m sure he is.  Absolutely.  But he had a chance to have had a contract back in November and December and we just never got to the finish line.  Now we’ve got to the point where we don’t feel like we can do that.”

As we said at the time, Pearl should have signed whatever contract UT placed before him.  He was lucky to have a job.  And after Tennessee and Hamilton took a beating in the national press for standing by him, it’s certainly understandable that they would be upset that he did not inform them of the bump rule violation… whether he viewed it to be a serious infraction or not.

The interview with Hamilton will run in the Knoxville market at 3pm ET.  Our thanks to WNML for the heads-up.  We’ll have more on MrSEC.com after the interview airs.

Here’s a link to the audio of the interview and a full story by Hyams.

 


33 comments
Johnny
Johnny

Hamilton and the Chancellor (Cheek) spend months telling us Bruce is their man, even if a one year suspension is necessary. Suddenly, Hamilton in a radio interiiew, aired two days before a NCAA Tournament Game) changes all the rules and says the contract will be reevaluated at the end of the season--talk about Indian giving--with apologies to all good Indians. Hamilton needs to make a public apology to the basketball players and staff, the alumni, and to all Tennesseans and UT Vol fans. UT needs to take one-third of his salary for the next year--reduced by 20 percent for each of the next five years. Then, not only should Coach Pearl be retained, Hamilton should be instructed how to deal with the media in classes from Coach Pearl for 2 hours each week during the next year. Failure of Mr. Hamilton to meet these requirements would lead to his immediate dismissal.

Go forever Coach Pearl. We know you made errors. Don't make them again.

Johnny
Johnny

I am a STRONG supporter of Bruce Pearl. He absolutely made a very serious mistake and I don't think anyone would question that point. The NCAA has to depend heavily on honesty for its enforcement and I can appreciate that and I hope Bruce and the other coachers do also. Bruce may be the safest coach UT could have for the coming years, with the understanding, in contract, that any deviance results in firing. On the other hand, Hamilton I am not so sure of. We have a $1M buyout if Kiffen leaves us versus us having a $7M buyout if we leave him. What? Check it out.

Alum with sense
Alum with sense

Is everyone out of their mind???? Look at these allegations- they are ticky tacky rules. They should be followed, and there should be a modest punishment- but fire a coach over these? Really? I was in the Army and we did not have rules as far reaching as the recruiting rules for the NCAA. I want all those who thinks he deserves to be gone to apply for jobs investigating Securities Fraud- we could use you there.

Pearl is a GREAT coach. As a UT Alum and Letterman (not BB), I am proud that he is our coach. He has already paid a heavy fine for the screw up. If the NCAA has any sense of justice, they will recognize he has already been fined more than any Coach in history- not to mention the 8 conference game suspension.

Everyone who thinks he needs to or should be gone is not thinking. It is NOT time for him to go. This is incredibly out of proportion. It's not like he's Lane Kiffin.

Let him go?????? REALLY?????

Alum with sense
Alum with sense

Is everyone out of their mind???? Look at these allegations- they are ticky tacky rules. They should be followed, and there should be a modest punishment- but fire a coach over these? Really? I was in the Army and we did not have rules as far reaching as the recruiting rules for the NCAA. I want all those who thinks he deserves to be gone to apply for jobs investigating Securities Fraud- we could use you there.

Pearl is a GREAT coach. As a UT Alum and Letterman (not BB), I am proud that he is our coach. He has already paid a heavy fine for the screw up. If the NCAA has any sense of justice, they will recognize he has already been fined more than any Coach in history- not to mention the 8 conference game suspension.

Everyone who thinks he needs to or should be gone is not thinking. It is NOT time for him to go. This is incredibly out of proportion. It's not like he's Lane Kiffin.

Let him go?????? REALLY?????

Josh Martin
Josh Martin

I don't believe Bruce Pearl will survive the mess he is in at this point. It has been a long list of bad decisions made and high risks taken. He has made his own bed. One can list the many boneheaded decisions Coach Pearl has made that have put the basketball program in peril. That being said, I truly believe he is sorry and would rather see him stay then go. He brought energy and hope to a program that for more than a few years, had none. I hope he stays but do not see it happening. As for Mike Hamilton....no coach should probably survive the NCAA mess Bruce Pearl is now in. At the same time, no AD should survive the mess that Mike Hamilton is now in. Money raised or not, Mike Hamilton has oversaw the demise of the football program and the sure demise of a Pearl-less basketball program.

Adam
Adam

John Pennington should be ousted immediatejy for unethical conduct and slanting coverage to his view point.No wonder he has been fired so many times.

Vol66
Vol66

Why in the world would Hamilton do this interview NOW? Two days before the NCAA tourney. Nine months of "We got your back Coach" and NOW you're soul searching. WTF! All new talking points for the national media just in time for March Madness, HOORAY. I've seen this movie before, never thought I'd have to sit through it again. Why coudn't Hamilton wait until after the tourney? If Tennessee manages to beat Michigan and some how managed to pull off a GIANT upset of Duke, would Pearl be to big to fail...um fire...Is that what Hamilton and the powers that be are worried about? Please help a Vol fan understand why an AD would undermine the PLAYERS in this way. Haven't they had enough distractions ALL SEASON LONG. Haven't we as fans had enough. WHY? Certainly there is a reason to fire the coach, certainly there is/was a time to discuss it. IT"S JUST NOT RIGHT NOW.

Plasticman
Plasticman

Mark, EVERY coach in the NCAA breaks the "Bump rule" on a regular occasion. It is part of recruiting. Nick Saban has it down to an art form. Everything Pearl is getting raked over the coals for are "secondary" violations. His lying to the NCAA is what has him in so much trouble. Just keep in mind what UT basketball was BEFORE Bruce Pearl. Want to go back there again???

Plasticman
Plasticman

I watched 25 years of Tenn. men's BB flounder in purgatory. Bruce Pearl came along and instantly revived this program , filled the arena and brought excitement back to TBA. If anyone seriously thinks that he can be replaced, you are sadly mistaken. If UT gets rid of Pearl, I am DONE with UT Basketball because once again, we will be irrelevant and hoping wre make the NIT every year. If you love UT BB, you better support Bruce Pearl NOW!!!

Concerned Alum
Concerned Alum

For the good of the University, Bruce Pearl should be removed immediately after the conclusion of the season. Mike Hamilton seems like a good guy (goes on mission trips, etc.). Here is to hoping he has the courage of his convictions and removes Pearl asap.

VOLVIEW
VOLVIEW

DO NOT jump on the anti-Pearl wagon. His violations (except lying--which he fully confessed w/o making excuses) seem trivial to me. He otherwise has been THE BEST UT BASKETBALL coach and representative since Ray.
As long as he has Pat's support, he has mine.
He isn't perfect, but he is forthcoming and has done good work for us. I suspect he and the others did not believe they did BUMP.

VOLVIEW

Dutvol
Dutvol

I hate Mike Hamilton. Our athletic programs are hurting because of him and no one else... And he's blaming others' mistakes. Blame goes to that guy all around. Get him outta Tennessee

Thomas
Thomas

John Pennington,this is off subject but how many times has Nick Saban bumped into juniors?

acknowledgment
acknowledgment

I'm listening to the interview now and I have to say, nice job Pennington - you were able to gin up a few more page views (that your crap servers can't even handle) over absolutely no new information. Headline: "support wavering" - Body Copy "seems to be wavering" - perfect timing trying to stir up a non-controversy 48 hours before UT tips off. Excellent work.

linda
linda

I agree, but the way the Chancellor and Hamilton have acted I would like to see them gone!!!!! Pearl made mistakes, Yes, but he owned up to them!!! In the movie field of dreams the theme was build it and they would come, well he built it and we came and now I have season tickets to football, mens and womens basketball and If I could I would cance me donation. Hamilton is a glutimasmaxiimusrectus, in my book and if you need that spelled out I can and will the Chancellor is Chicken squat and I will spell that out also if needed. I have never seen any one treated as badly by someone who claims to be a someone who cares about his fellow man as Hamilton does. Horse puky!!! He should be the next one to go!!! I am so angry about this.

Plasticman
Plasticman

Please inform us what "long list of bad decisions and high risks" Coach Pearl has taken? Other than lying to the NCAA (which is a very hypocritical self-governing organization), every violation Pearl committed has been a "secondary" violation. I do agree Hamilton should not survive this "mess". He is a PR nightmare and makes Doug Dickey look like a god when it comes to running an athletics program.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Adam...

Just wondering when have I ever been fired? I was laid off after a 3-month stint with a radio station... along with several other folks. The same cuts eventually led to the GM being let go, too. Not sure that that qualifies as "fired."

But I'm doing alright, either way. Seven Emmy Awards, hook-ups on about 20 radio stations a week (including the station that "fired" me), a website that's gonna pull in 5 million pageviews this year and a regular gig on CSS. I'm a very, very lucky guy and I count my blessings everyday.

As for the "slant" comment, this site gave you direct quotes from an interview a Knoxville radio station did with UT's athletic director. Not sure where the slant comes in.

But thanks for reading.

John

Plasticman
Plasticman

Hamilton is proving what a buffoon he is as an Athletics Director. Nice guy but way over his head as an AD and PR guy.

Greg Shoffner
Greg Shoffner

I agree with you plasticman Bruce just got caught at a game every College Basketball and Football play. I would venture to say that there is not a single school that when investigated would have some kind of a violation. Tennessee has the best basketball coach out there I am behind Bruce and his staff 100%. Mike Hamilton is the one that needs to go if anyone does. We need a new athletic director in a BAD way.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Thomas...

So many times that in the spring evaluation period, it's called "the Saban Rule." But Saban has never been hit with an unethical conduct charge or committed a bump rule violation just four days after a press conference announcing self-imposed sanctions. Timing and track record matter.

If I walk out of a jewelry store with a watch, I might get the benefit of the doubt or a slap on the wrist. Lindsay Lohan? Not so much.

John

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

acknowledgement...

Headlines are shorter than actual copy. "wavering" and "seems to be wavering," blah, blah, blah. If you don't think it's news that Tennessee's AD did an interview saying that the school might not stand by its coach after all, well, it shows why you don't have a news site. That information is 100% new. As is the revelation that Pearl didn't tell his bosses about the bump violation.

As for trying to create controversy, I simply linked you to information that was being reported in Knoxville. If you'd rather not hear or read what's being said in Knoxville, I suggest you place a finger in each ear, cover your eyes and hum.

With regards to the crap servers... I can't think of a better problem to have. We've upgraded them a dozen times. But when SI, ESPN, CBS and others link to you, it can be a bit much.

Have a pleasant day,
John

Plasticman
Plasticman

So true. Pennington is part of the media "witch hunt" and would like nothing more than to see Pearl gone. I wish fans wouldnt fall into this trap. Pearl is the ONLY reason we even have a decetn basketball prgram at UT. Get rid of him and revert back to the "I hope we get in the NIT" days!

Josh Martin
Josh Martin

The "long list" I was referring to was the letter of allegations. I may have overstated the number of violations but coaches usually don't survive charges of unethical conduct. Let me be clear, I don't think he should be fired. Even with a year long suspension, I would be in favor of keeping Coach Pearl. I just don't think he will survive this mess. But I see your point and understand that I overstated a "long list" of transgressions. Also, I believe that Pearl's violations were nothing compared to Jim Calhoun or Jim Tressel who will probably survive their messes. It hurts Pearl that other coaches and the national media see him as a pariah.

adam
adam

John, I love getting your goat. But sometimes it's too easy.

Thomas
Thomas

Continuing to break the same secondary violation is no be deal. Right? Mr Slive is that right?

acknowledgment
acknowledgment

Actually my day is a little worse now than it was a couple of hours ago, but thank you for the kind well-wishes. I will say "fair enough" with your reporting of this particular angle of the long-running narrative. Hamilton essentially seems to have bought himself some room to dismiss Pearl before June and didn't offer the same full-throated endorsement he did roughly two months ago.
However, Hamilton tried to toe the same line for 98% of the interview, only Hyams saw a drop of blood in the water and roped Hamilton in being less than 100% committed. I think I'm just like the wider fanbase - I'm tired of our small-market media hyping any loose hair off this dead horse. Especially when we're trying to enjoy the buildup of the March tourney ritual, short-lived as the Vols stay in the bracket might be. And why would Hamilton even grant that interview on the eve of the tournament?
So my fatigue deserved to be called out a little, hat-tip to you. And you've gotten me to turn a few pages on your site, so you have the last laugh.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Plasticman...

If you can point to this site calling for any coach's (or AD's) head, please let us know. That's not what we do. And in this case, we simply linked you to the comments of Tennessee's AD regarding Tennessee's coach. If that's a "witch hunt," then it sure doesn't take much to kick one off.

John

Concerned Alum
Concerned Alum

Shenanigans.

Commitment to the basketball program from the Administration is the key, not an uber shady coach like Pearl.

Plasticman
Plasticman

I sure hope Pearl survives this and is our coach for years to come. I think Hamilton really screwed up with his comments 2 days before our opening NCAA game. He continues to show he is way over his head trying to be an AD. IMO, he is a PR nightmare.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Adam...

Uh, yeah. My rational, calm answer really looks like you got me.

In case you haven't noticed, we try to answer all the questions posted on this comment. But if you'd like to think that means getting a goat, so be it.

John

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Plasticman...

In January, Hamilton told the Knoxville press that UT wanted to keep Pearl unless something new came to light. Now he's saying Pearl will be evaluated at the end of the season.

He also said that UT doesn't feel like it can give Pearl a new contract right now... though it tried to do just that in November and December.

That's the definition of "support wavering."

John

Plasticman
Plasticman

The headline" School's Support Wavering" is bogus. I don't see anything that Hamilton states to support that headline.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] In case you haven’t seen the report from Mr. SEC’s John Pennington, there are some pretty juicy read-between-the-lines material on the uncertain — and all of a sudden more doubtful — future of Tennessee head basketball coach Bruce Pearl. [...]

  2. [...] 1. Pearl Didn’t Tell UT About Bump Rule Violation; School’s Support Wavering [...]

  3. Vintage says:

    Vintage…

    [...]Homepage | MrSEC.com[...]…



Follow Us On:
Mobile MrSEC