Thursday, February 24, 2011

Should Tennessee and Bruce Pearl Part Ways?

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
The Tennessee Volunteers (17-11, 7-6) announced that Bruce Pearl would succeed Buzz Peterson as head coach in 2005. As a result, many recruits decided to attend other schools, and many current players transferred.

But that didn't stop Pearl from success one year in his tenure.

In his first season at Tennessee coach Pearl led the Vol's to a 22-8 record, and 12 conference victories. Additionally, Pearl also added to his success by acquiring one of the best recruiting classes led by Wayne Chism.

Coach Pearl continues to have success at Tennessee as well as picking up marquee accomplishments on the way.

Coach Pearl has been named the Adolph Rupp National Coach of the Year in 2008 and is a two-time SEC Coach of the Year.

But along with bringing major accomplishments and wins, coach Pearl has brought recruiting and unethical violations to the Tennessee athletic program.

Pearl had previously been suspended eight SEC conference games for violating NCAA rules and misleading investigators.

The NCAA's punishment has yet to be felt by Pearl and despite his optimism regarding his job security, there is a possibility that you won't see him pacing the Vol's sideline too much longer.

Coach Pearl and his assistants were cited for 96 impermissible telephone calls to perspective student-athletes, as well as a visit to talk to 2012 prospect Jordan Adams of Oak Hill Academy.

Additionally, the NCAA believes Pearl knowingly violated NCAA rules by inviting a prospective student-athlete to a unofficial visit/barbecue at his home.

The Vol's have did their part in issuing Pearl to sit eight SEC conference games due to his recruiting violations, but the big question everyone wants to know is "is that enough?"

Just this week, the NCAA decided that the Connecticut Huskies head coach Jim Calhoun would be suspended three Big East conference games for recruiting violations and failing to create an atmosphere of compliance within the program.

The two coaches have one similar comparison, which is recruiting violations. However, coach Calhoun was never cited for being untruthful to the investigators.

But earlier this year, AD (Athletic Director) Mike Hamilton was noted as saying, "It's our intention to keep him." He followed by saying, "Unless there's something out there we're unaware of."

Coach Pearl has rallied this Tennessee program and improved them every year drastically. Under Pearl Tennessee reached their first Elite Eight in school history along with a 143-57 record.

If there is one thing that is going to keep Pearl around it's his ability to win basketball games. Pearl is known for knocking off top-ranked teams. During his tenure at Tennessee the Vol's have defeated 20 Top 25 ranked opponents along with five in the top-five and two No. 1's.

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