SB Nation's Rocky Top Talk editors reacted with equal parts misery and weariness to the news of their beloved Bruce Pearl admitting to misleading the NCAA. Joel Hollingsworth calls the situation "truly awful":
I'm not even considering the sanctions at this point. I'm talking about watching Pearl fight back tears of embarrassment and shame, which he himself will tell you he deserves, as he took full responsibility for his actions and apologized, saying he let down himself, the University, the fans, and his players.
All that said, I think Pearl deserves a great deal of credit for the way he's handling himself now, and I'm betting that's a huge reason why he's still the coach. No one but Pat Summitt has more good will in the bank at Tennessee than Pearl, and while he may have spent every last penny, he still has a job here, and I, for one, am glad. But if there had been any hint of defensiveness or arrogance about, well, that could very well have been a different story.
Will Shelton is, if possible, even less sunny:
As a fan, I'm exhausted.
From Phillip Fulmer's final season until today, we've seen too much, defended our program too many times from too many things, and been rewarded with positive moments far too little.
For many people, Bruce Pearl is Tennessee Basketball. And so for many people, the initial concern isn't even what we did or didn't do wrong, but how this might in any way jeopardize Pearl's career at Tennessee, and if any postseason bans will be coming. Pearl sounded very contrite in his press conference, and he may be. But what was a golden image for Pearl in Knoxville has been tarnished...and whether Pearl, Hamilton, or our basketball team will survive it, who knows.
The Vols await news of any additional sanctions the NCAA may be imposing on top of the self-inflicted restrictions the coaching staff has accepted.