National Columnist

Hate Mail: In case of Doyel v. Vols fans, Doyel wins


Updated March 3

Bruce Pearl cheated, then lied after getting caught. At most places that makes you a pariah. At Tennessee it makes you coach for life, assuming you keep winning.

I objected to Tennessee's shamelessness. Tennessee fans objected to my objection. If this were a court of law, the judge would rule in my favor.

Since this is Hate Mail ... the judge will rule in my favor.

From: Maria Gonzales

Yes, we know what Bruce Pearl did was a violation -- but if he had not lied, it would be secondary...PERIOD! Why is he still there? Well, you don't live in this area so you wouldn't understand.

Tennessee basketball wins more with that lying cheater than it would without him. Believe me, I understand. Everyone understands.

From: Dan Ballinger

I coach Little League baseball and consistently teach positive attitudes, but in your business you appear to have more negative writers than positive ones. Coach Pearl has done a lot in society, especially charitable work, away from basketball. But you probably don't know how to write that stuff.

After you're finished teaching your team how to use steroids, show them how to mask those steroids with fertility drugs, Mr. Little League Coach. Seeing how you're all about winning at any cost.

From: Jeff Kerlan

Nice article on Pearl -- not. Is this journalism or a high school essay contest?

If it's a high school essay contest, tell everyone else in class to go home. Because one of the top 10 sportswriters in the country just moved into the school district.

From: THE Brian in Pittsburgh

Congratulations on the 2010 APSE award. Unfortunately, I didn't see your name because I had a cerebral hemorrhage when I started to scroll down and saw Dan Shaughnessy's name on the list. Hold out for another award to brag about, bro.

Well, as anyone in my business will tell you, these awards don't mean much. They're flukes, given on the whims of judges. Except when I win one. Totally legit when I win.

From: Burton DeWitt

CT Hoosier is mentioned on only one Wikipedia page -- yours -- whereas Edwin Pope is on 122. Sam DeWitt, my great-grandfather, who has his own page, is mentioned on only 23 pages, including his own and the page for the name DeWitt.

If that guy's your great-grandfather, then this guy is your cousin or brother or something. And he's a Scientologist. You a Scientologist, Burton? I know you're weird, but are you nuts?

From: Burton DeWitt

But most of the Wiki pages that mention my great-grandfather are pointless category pages like People from the Bronx.

When are one of you creepy stalkers going to update my Wiki page with my APSE Top 10 award? Here's the link again. Hint.

From: Cody Wells

True or false: Thad Matta is either Gargamel, or related to Gargamel.

Listen to me. I love Thad Matta like a brother, or a cousin. Or like someone I see regularly at a grocery store or something. That being said ... holy smokes, you're right. Everyone else, judge for yourself. Here's Thad Matta. And here's Gargamel from the Smurfs.

From: Lisa Clement

No, I don't think we New Orleanians need to get over Sean Payton's move to Dallas -- you who are outsiders need to get over it. We don't think we are important, we know we're important because our money pays his salary.

And here I thought you were cheering Sean Payton because he wins games, and because he won that Super Bowl. I had no idea you were cheering his zip code.

From: Steve Wolf

I haven't read a column of yours in months. You've become boring. I miss the angry moron who would make accusations first and ask questions later.

If you haven't read a column of mine in months, how do you know I've become boring? Don't try to outsmart me, son. That game has been rigged since birth.

From: Jason

The only thing Joel Northrup believed was that he might lose. The grief he got by backing out of the match is far less than he would have endured had he lost. Not sure why you took up this story, but you couldn't have done a worse job explaining yourself. Or exposing the coward you and Northrup are.

Obviously you've never competed in a combat sport, because athletes in those sports don't EVER think they're going to lose. Not the good ones, which Joel Northrup -- with his 35-4 record and No. 5 state ranking -- undoubtedly is. Northrup didn't think he would lose to the girl. He thought he would hurt her. You don't understand, Jason, because all you've ever done is sit in the stands and eat popcorn.

From: Tom

You are an idiot. Northrup is a gentleman? So the girl who won state in Alaska in 2006 should not have had any boys wrestle her? Northrup was a coward and a sexist pig. So are you.

Your reading comprehension sucks. I didn't write that any boy in any weight class in any state SHOULD default rather than wrestle a girl. I wrote that I understand it when a boy makes that choice. Enjoy the popcorn.

From: Stan VerNooy

Every now and then -- not often -- a sportswriter illustrates what's noble and decent about sports. Thank you Gregg for the story on Iowa wrestling.

Not bad for a sexist pig idiot coward, I know. But then, I'm a top-10 sports writer. With his own Wiki page. Which needs an update.

From: Zeus

Your recent article about the Auburn trees made me laugh. It was far from objective. You went on to list the greatest rivalries in sports and not only missed Celtics-Lakers, but the biggest rivalry there is, The Game.

Little tip: I don't write objectively. I write subjectively, because I'm writing my opinion. And look at you up there in Boston, talking about your quaint little rivalries. Isn't there a smug elitist on some other website you should be reading? He'll tell you what you want to hear.

From: William LoSasso

Impossible to rank rivalries without mentioning Ohio State-Michigan football. Do your homework.

Think I've heard of that one. Maybe because I live 80 minutes from Ohio Stadium and 3½ hours from Michigan Stadium, and I go to the OSU-Michigan game. Every. Season. Nice of you to remind me of that rivalry from your home there in Jersey. Looked you up, Bill. You're a moron, Bill.

From: Wayne McKenzie

You didn't beat around the bush in your story on the NFL labor fight. Neither side deserves much sympathy, but your skewed view leaves out one salient fact: The owners are the ones who take the financial risk -- and just like any entrepreneur deserve the majority of the profit.

The Cardinals' Bill Bidwill inherited his team from Daddy. So did Jim Irsay (Colts), Clark Hunt (Chiefs) and Virginia Halas (Bears). Woody Johnson (Jets) was born into the Johnson & Johnson family. Stan Kroenke (Rams) married the daughter of the guy who founded Wal-Mart. The list goes on and on, so my question is this: What, exactly, did these silver-spooned tycoons risk?

From: Stan

Bruce Pearl committed a secondary violation, then lied about it. Let him pay his price and then let's move on. For goodness sakes, quit acting like you're a God.

No idea why you typed your second-to-last word. Your e-mail reads much better -- to me, anyway -- without it.

From: Tony Hayes

The storms will clear at Tennessee and at Southern California, and championships will again be celebrated. I wonder where you will be. I am betting you will not last much longer using this bull-in-a-china-shop methodology. I will be checking back from time to time to see how your career is going.

Check the TV and radio, too. My career seems to be trending up.

From: Bob Cornwell (GoVols57)

While I don't deny the seriousness of the violations Tennessee committed, your article strikes me as particularly vicious and vindictive. Is it really necessary to insult and call names to get your point across? What Coach Pearl did is certainly unprofessional, and deserves punishment, but no less so than the unprofessional rant you just published.

I called him a liar and a cheater, which is basically what the NCAA called him. And I called him Pinocchio, because I'm clever like that. And you call yourself GoVols57 because you're obvious like that. Wild guess: You were born in 1957.

From: Carey

Your opinion is interesting -- no, arrogant -- since you seem to go euphoric with overstatement and come off sounding like the owner of something other than your rather nasty opinion. Your throne is teetering, however. Oops. Maybe you have the facts and have talked to all the principals involved. If so, your bleeding heart needs surgery. It's fun reading your caustic material, though, but as a Socratian pretender, you flunk.

You're the worst kind of stupid: Someone who knows just enough words and phrases to be utterly nonsensical.

Gregg Doyel is a columnist for He covered the ACC for the Charlotte Observer, the Marlins for the Miami Herald, and Brooksville (Fla.) Hernando for the Tampa Tribune. He was 4-0 (3 KO's!) as an amateur boxer, and volunteers for the ALS Association. Follow Gregg Doyel on Twitter.

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