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Blog Entry

Statement from UT AD Mike Hamilton

Posted on: March 21, 2011 10:13 pm
Edited on: March 21, 2011 10:27 pm
The following is a statement from Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton.

It confirms Monday's firing of Bruce Pearl.

"Today, we are announcing that we have reached an agreement with Bruce Pearl that will result in him and his immediate staff being relieved of their duties with the University of Tennessee men’s basketball program. This is a difficult day for many obvious reasons. Six years ago, Bruce Pearl arrived on our campus and renewed hope in Tennessee Basketball. He, his staff, and our student-athletes have allowed us as administrators and fans to enjoy unprecedented success and many victories during that time. He has become a friend to many and has done tremendous work in our community.

"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.

"We have included separation terms that will detail more clearly our role in the transition for Coach Pearl and his assistant coaches. In the meantime, we have named native Tennessean and a former head coach, Houston Fancher, as interim coach during our hiring process. Our search process will begin immediately. This is a great job and will attract a significant number of interested coaches. Much of that interest is a tribute to what Coach Pearl has helped to build, but more importantly, what our fans have built. We will take an appropriate amount of time, but will move as swiftly as is effective to bring this to conclusion. Lastly, I want to apologize to our fans for my untimely comments prior to last week's NCAA appearance. distraction to what has already been a year of distractions. While my comments were never intended for harm, they became an unneeded distraction to what has already been a year of distractions."

----- Terms of Agreement -----

Head men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl will be paid at his current salary rate through June 30, 2011. He will also receive $50,000 per month for 12 months, from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012, and will also receive health insurance costs. This cumulative figure is $948,728. Additionally, the men’s basketball coaching staff will each be paid at their current salary rate through July 31, 2011.

Since: Nov 7, 2008
Posted on: March 22, 2011 11:56 am

Statement from UT AD Mike Hamilton

I thought he didn have a contract?  Good to see Pearl is still screwing UT even after he left.  

Since: May 22, 2008
Posted on: March 22, 2011 11:09 am

Statement from UT AD Mike Hamilton

Thanks for sharing the details, Gary.

Since: Jan 24, 2011
Posted on: March 22, 2011 10:21 am

Statement from UT AD Mike Hamilton

Hey cmurphy, how long have you followed TN bball?  And not just you, but to continue to lump Pearl into the same pile as Sampson I think is off-base.  Tennessee men's basketball has a very storied history.  While playing in the same league as the winningest college program, UK, has its challenges, there have been many stars and even SEC tourney and regular season championships.  There have also been some very bad hires and decision which this one has turned out to be.  And then there is the irony(?) of placing someone with the name Houston as interim right now.  The name Houston has a terrible history at UT although the player may have been good, his dad had a very troubled time losing many, many games.  I think he also was in charge during the 101 - 40 game in SEC tourney- so anyone with Houston in their name, interim or otherwise, Hamilton is not grasping the significance of that too.  The guy is a weather pattern in the south, he changes his mind or decision or all of the above every 3 hours.  He may make a good hiring decision or two, but his follow-up and the overall of each program at UT is a mess.  Maybe it is time for Pat to take over as AD.  Many talked for years of her taking over Men's bball.  Novelty is one thing, but she would have everything to lose and nothing to gain in that capacity.  As AD, she could take the situation to the highest level of class and dignity.  Throw as much money to her as you can afford to make this happen and this gets fixed quickly.  But Hamilton is a huge part of every problem since the firing of Fulmer debacle, which duh, there is another name/person who could take over as AD adding much needed class and dignity; Pat stays as coach and wins #9, 10 and 11 (more?).  Time for you to go Hamilton.  Someone go on WIVK and announce it please. 

Since: Feb 22, 2008
Posted on: March 22, 2011 9:37 am

Statement from UT AD Mike Hamilton

I agree with you 100% that Hamilton needs to go. He has bungled plenty there at your beloved institution. He even bungled this messy divorce with coach Pearl. The decision to fire Pearl should have been done after they found out he lied to the NCAA investigators the first time around. That would have been better for the program and institution as a whole. People would have gained more respect for the University of Tennessee than what they have after letting him continue to coach.

I know this isn't what you want to hear, but think about this. After it was discovered that he lied to the NCAA he continued to commit secondary violations. This put Tennessee and Coach Pearl back in the spotlight and for the wrong reasons. Both the institution and Pearl himself could have both avoided any further negative press. This would allow UT to start the coaching search and still attract another solid if not outstanding coach. It would also allow Pearl to probably find another job somewhere else rather quickly (even if at a lesser school for awhile). But, since Hamilton screwed that up, and continued to let Pearl be the head coach, both will suffer. UT will more than likely get sanctions against them which could hinder any further progress and cause any coach that is already good or great to not want to coach there. Nobody likes to coach under sanctions. It is too hard to be successful and most don't survive it. In the meantime, Pearl is going to receive some sort of sanction as well because after he committed the major violation, he continued to "cheat" and continued to get caught.

Needless to say, the reason Pearl cannot continue to work at Tennessee is to prevent Tennessee from being totally hammered by the NCAA if it isn't already too late. Yes, Hamilton needs to go because he continued to let this go on. It would help the school more if Hamilton were gone as well to remove as many pieces to the puzzle as possible. It may be too little too late though. In the end, Hamilton will be dismissed as well I think.

Since: Aug 10, 2006
Posted on: March 22, 2011 9:24 am

Statement from UT AD Mike Hamilton

How in the world did Mike Hamilton ruin the basketball program? Tennessee is nothing in basketball, and never has been anything. Bruce Pearl is a nice little coach, but that's all. When ya'll lost that 20 point lead to tOSU in the tourney a few years  back, you should've been on the lookout for a new coach.

As for Hamilton, he didn't break the rules, lie to his superiors, lie to the NCAA and then basically paint his chest orange as his defense, so it appears you may be off base in your criticism.

Face it, Pearl cheated his family, his fans, his University and ultimately his players. Why Hamilton kept him around for so long is the only thing I can't figure out.

Maybe Pearl and Kelvin Sampson can coach the Washington Generals or some other sort of non-amateur basketball team. One thing's for sure, the NCAA should not let Pearl come back to a member institution anytime soon...

Since: Jun 5, 2008
Posted on: March 22, 2011 9:16 am

Statement from UT AD Mike Hamilton

Bruce should not have been fired. Our AD Mike Hamilton is a complete joke and frankly how he continues to hold on to his job is just mind boggling.
Was Bruce a saint? No but I think overall Tennessee would have been better off weathering the storm with him.
Mike Hamilton has ruined Tennessee's football program and now he has ruined the basketball program as well. Thank god Pat Summit is so legendary otherwise I'm sure Hamilton would find a way to screw that up as well.
I have never called for another persons job but Mike Hamilton is an embarrassment to Tennessee.

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: March 22, 2011 8:58 am

Statement from UT AD Mike Hamilton

It's ridiculous that this cheat and liar should earn $940,000 for the rest of this year.

Schools who make these contracts have to figure out that if they have cause to fire someone, he doesn't get a penny of money.

Doesn't work like that at all.  Just because somebody makes a mistake doesn't mean they can be fired without any compensation going their way.    Think about it for a minute and forget this particular situation.   Using your logic a coach can spend 10 years working somewhere, do a fantastic job, help turn around a school that was struggling, help kids get through school and become good people and put 10's of millions in a school's pocket yet be fired with zero compensation for making one mistake??
This guy isn't a thug or murderer for God sakes....  this sounds like a fair deal....  no lawyers and no courts,,,,, in the end, everybody gets something out of it.

Since: Nov 25, 2009
Posted on: March 22, 2011 12:04 am

Statement from UT AD Mike Hamilton


Crazy... I live across the Coleman bridge from you.

Since: Nov 25, 2009
Posted on: March 22, 2011 12:01 am

Statement from UT AD Mike Hamilton

I have to agree.  While the mistakes were Pearl's, too many things have gone on with Hamilton at the helm for him to remain in place.  I don't really like to call for the firing of people but I feel it would be in Tennessee's best interest to "clean house" so to speak and show the NCAA that they are committed to moving forward without any nagging issues.

Good luck going forward.

Since: Nov 15, 2006
Posted on: March 21, 2011 11:55 pm

Statement from UT AD Mike Hamilton

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