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Hamilton Ready To Dump UT’s Troubles On Pearl, Kiffin

Next Friday and Saturday, Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton will be in Indianapolis, taking questions from the NCAA’s committee on infractions.  It probably won’t be as pleasant an experience as a week in Destin.

“This is something that’s lingered on for a long time,” Hamilton told The Knoxville News Sentinel yesterday.  “One of the things we’ve talkied about with the NCAA folks is the lengths of these kinds of things.  During the course of that, you take public hits and questions about things that maybe people speculate on, so we’re ready to get a conclusion.”

Of course, much of the speculation about Tennessee’s situation would have died down back in September had Hamilton and UT officials dismissed Bruce Pearl when his “unethical conduct” was revealed to the public.  Instead — just as the Jim Tressel story became a daily feeding frenzy at Ohio State — Pearl’s situation, UT’s handling of that situation, and the NCAA’s possible response to UT’s handling of that situation became a six-month-long soap opera played out over the nation’s airwaves.  A soap opera that wound up in the very same spot, by the way… with Pearl fired for the unethical conduct charges levied against him.

According to Andrew Gribble of The Sentinel, Hamilton “stressed that 11 of the 12 major violations are pinned on Pearl, (Lane) Kiffin and their respective staffs” when he met the media yesterday.  The Volunteer defense strategy is pretty easy to figure out at this point — “They did it, not us.”

Whether the NCAA will accept that one or not is still anyone’s guess.



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