Okay, so Tennessee may be some low-down, dirty snitches, but at least give them some small degree of credit for not being as bad as Ohio State. While the Sweater Vest looks forward to next season despite having committed much more egregious wrongs than anything Bruce Pearl ever did, Pearl will likely be sitting at home next season after being fired by Tennessee today. Per ESPN:
Tennessee has fired Bruce Pearl after a season that saw the coach charged with unethical conduct for lying to NCAA investigators during a probe into recruiting, person with knowledge of the decision said.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the university has not announced the firing.
In all honesty, though, before we heap any real praise on the Vols, this was almost certainly a moot point all along and thus an easy decision to make for Mike Hamilton and company. In reality, Tennessee was either going fire Pearl now, or the NCAA was going to give him a show-cause order later this summer, thus making it even more difficult for the Vols to find a replacement coach to take over for Pearl (anyone remember how difficult it was for us to replace Mike Price in May? Same thing). If anything, while this will undoubtedly result in the short-term exit of a handful of current players, this will likely make things easier moving forward for the Vols to rebuild in the wake of imminent NCAA sanctions.
In related news, two additional points to be made here: (1) I cannot believe the vaunted contingency that showed up in support of Pearl yesterday did not save his job, and (2) after a worldwide economic downturn in recent years that has literally resulted in millions of layoffs around the globe, how in the holy hell does Mike Hamilton still have a job? And not just this job, but any job? At one time in my life I did not believe that it was even humanly possible to be more incompetent as an athletic director than Bob Bockrath, but Hamilton has seriously made me reconsider that belief.