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Pearl’s downward spiral really was one big mess

Jul 25, 2011, 8:45 AM EDT


When Tennessee announced last week that it self-imposed a two-year probation on its athletic program, one might have thought it signaled the end of awkward stories related to Bruce Pearl’s tenure as head coach.

Nah. That lasted about a day.

Two stories by the Knoxville Journal-Sentinel detail Pearl’s downfall, which includes more embarrassing details than any Vols hater could hope. Consider it a nice bit of reporting by Andrew Gribble.

Whether it’s flaunting an Elite Eight ring (actually, that was associate coach Tony Jones) during a “bump” violation or Pearl panicking once he figured out he goofed, it’s pretty entertaining reading.

(Even Pearl’s assistants couldn’t keep things straight. Jason Shay and Steve Forbes both fumbled chances to help clear things up.)

Consider this: Pearl met with the NCAA in June of 2010 with Mike Glazier, the school’s lead attorney. And he still failed to answer questions truthfully, even when Glazier interjected during questioning and gave him an out.

No wonder Pearl’s season was hardly one to remember.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.

  1. mogogo1 - Jul 25, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    That article linked to “Pearl panicking…” is simply classic. The NCAA has a photo of a recruit in Pearl’s house. But Pearl denies recognizing his own home…and he doesn’t recognize the wife of his assistant coach in the photo, either. Then when they question the assistant, he also doesn’t own up to the fact his wife is in the picture. Finally, Pearl tries to get the recruit’s family to take the blame and say that Pearl had told the kid that he couldn’t visit without it being a violation, but the kid came over anyway. To which the kids day says “‘Coach, if that’s your story then,’ you know, ‘we’re gonna have two.'” After reading this, the old standby line “Mistakes were made” sounds better all the time.

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