The University of Tennessee has officially announced what everyone has already know today, head basketball coach Bruce Pearl has been fired.
Both Chancellor Jimmy Cheek and Director of Athletics Mike Hamilton made statements on Monday. It was Hamilton’s statement that was most interesting as it makes mention of previously-unheard-of violations that occurred as recently as this month.
Upon receipt of our NCAA Letter of Inquiry in September, we made the difficult decision to forego common national opinion and forge ahead with Bruce and his staff pending any further major infractions or issues that would preclude our basketball program from representing the University of Tennessee in the right manner.
The months that followed have been difficult on everyone our staff, our coaches, our administration, our fans and, certainly, our young men. During this time, the dynamics of our case with the NCAA have evolved further, including additional violations committed on September 14 and in March 2011. The cumulative effect of the evolution of the investigation combined with a number of more recent non-NCAA-related incidents have led to a belief that this staff cannot be viable at Tennessee in the future. Therefore, it is in the best interests of our institution to move in a different direction.
An additional violation in March would have come after the Letter of Allegations was received and fuels speculation that something changed in the last few weeks in the Pearl situation.
Head on over to Rocky Top Talk to discuss the end of the Bruce Pearl Era with UT fans.