Posted on: February 22, 2011 9:50 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2011 9:54 pm

Pearl will be charged with unethical conduct

Tennessee received its notice of allegations from the NCAA on Tuesday that detailed the infractions uncovered during an investigation into the school's football, baseball and men's basketball programs.

The school is expected to release the notice of allegations as early as Wednesday.

Sources with knowledge of the allegations told CBSSports.com on Tuesday that Bruce Pearl will be charged with "unethical conduct" for providing false information to investigators about illegally hosting recruits at his home. As CBSSports.com first reported in September, Pearl provided "incorrect and misleading information" when presented with a picture proving former recruit Aaron Craft was at Pearl's home in violation of NCAA rules.

Craft is now a freshman point guard at Ohio State.

Tennessee has already voided Pearl's contract in response to the admitted violations. He's now working under a letter of appointment. The SEC suspended Pearl for the Vols' first eight league games this season in a proactive move. But sources familiar with the case have told CBSSports.com that additional sanctions are almost certainly coming, and it should be noted that NCAA present Mark Emmert suggested in December that he believes coaches who lie to the NCAA should be subject to the same type of punishment given to student-athletes who lie to the NCAA.

"We certainly want to uphold the standards for coaches -- who are the teacher and the authority figure in that relationship -- to at least the same standards that we hold our students," Emmert said when reminded that former Oklahoma State football player Dez Bryant was suspended for a year for lying to the NCAA, which is something Pearl has already acknowledged doing.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 11, 2011 12:39 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2011 1:21 pm

Videos, videos and more videos!

You want to watch me preview seven of this weekend's games with Jason Horowitz?

Click this link.

You want to hear me talk about myself for 20 minutes?

That's this link.
Posted on: February 1, 2011 11:30 am
Edited on: February 1, 2011 11:42 am

Are Vols about to take control of SEC East?

There are two SEC basketball games scheduled for tonight.

They are:
  • Kentucky at Ole Miss
  • Vanderbilt at Florida
Kentucky and Florida are the favorites in those matchups, meaning both should win. But if Ole Miss and Vandy pull off upsets, every SEC East team except Tennessee will have at least three league losses. Either way, the Vols are 4-2 in the SEC with two winnable games (at Auburn on Thursday/vs. Alabama on Saturday) scheduled this week. That means they should be 6-2 in the league after the weekend. And because Kentucky and Florida play each other late Saturday, the Vols will likely be either tied for first in the loss column in the SEC East with one other school (Florida or Kentucky) or all alone in first place of the SEC East when Bruce Pearl makes his permanent return to the sidelines next Tuesday for a nationally televised game with Kentucky at Rupp Arena.

Who would've guessed that after the Vols started 0-2 in the league?
Posted on: January 12, 2011 11:15 am
Edited on: January 12, 2011 11:31 am

Boynton's shot was questionable but perfect

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Florida had a four-point lead with less than a minute remaining in overtime, and Kenny Boynton was on the left wing dribbling, mostly just running down the shot clock. I knew right then that he was determined to launch a 3-pointer, for better or worse.

I thought for worse.

You, Chandler Parsons?

"I knew it was cash," Parsons said with a big smile. "He has ice in his veins."

Perhaps. But Boynton also misses seven out of every 10 3-pointers he attempts, so you can understand my skepticism. If he clanks that shot, Tennessee might grab a long rebound, take off the other way, score in transition quickly and make it a one-possession game. That's why I cringed for Florida fans when Boynton let it fly, then laughed when the shot swished and secured what ultimately was an 81-75 road win for the Gators.

Such is life with Boynton.

I've seen Florida play in person twice this season. First time I watched Boynton finish 0-of-6 on 3-pointers against UNC-Wilmington on Nov. 12. Second time I watched Boynton finish 3-of-7 on 3-pointers against Tennessee late Tuesday. He is off-mark enough to hurt you (0-of-6 from beyond the arc in Florida's loss to Jacksonville) but streaky enough to help (3-of-7 from beyond the arc in Florida's win over UT), and I'm convinced this will be the case for Boynton and Florida till expired eligibility do them part.

He could shoot the Gators to the Elite Eight or straight out of the second round.

From a statistical standpoint, obviously, the latter is more likely.

But it cut the other way late Tuesday against the Vols.

So now the Gators are 2-0 in the SEC.
Posted on: January 6, 2011 12:50 am
Edited on: January 6, 2011 1:43 am

Note to ranked teams: Beware of Vols

Final score: Unranked Tennessee 104, No. 21 Memphis 84

So now Bruce Pearl's suspension is on deck and his Tennessee Vols officially (if only temporarily) belong to associate head coach Tony Jones. First thing Jones should do is put a number beside Arkansas' name. Just get a schedule and grab a marker and write a number beside the Razorbacks. Anything between one and 25 will do. Something like 17 seems reasonable. So Jones should scribble 17 beside Arkansas and point to it. If the Tennessee players fall for it, they'll start SEC play with an impressive road win Saturday.

That's the lesson from Wednesday night, isn't it?

When the Vols think they're playing a good team, they win.

Otherwise, they're at risk.

Tennessee dominated Memphis early, late and at all points in between at Thompson-Boling Arena, and it really wasn't as close as the final score indicates. The Vols led by 15 at the half and by 36 with less than six minutes remaining. The game got sloppy and closer late. But it was a beatdown from start to finish, and Tennessee is now 3-0 against ranked opponents and 7-4 against unranked opponents.


The Vols own wins over No. 5 Pittsburgh, No. 7 Villanova and No. 21 Memphis, and losses to unranked Oakland, unranked Charlotte, unranked Southern California and unranked Charleston. Granted, it's possible unranked Oakland, unranked Charlotte, unranked Southern California and unranked Charleston are all better than No. 21 Memphis, and that what happened Wednesday says more about the Tigers than it does UT. But the point remains the same. The Vols were presented with a ranked opponent on a big stage for the third time this season, and they played well and won such a game for the third time this season. They still haven't lost to a ranked team, but they've four times shown they're capable of losing to pretty much any school without a number next to its name.

So if Tony Jones is smart, he'll put a number next to Arkansas.

I'd go with 17.

He should scribble it on a schedule and show it to his players.

If they fall for it, they'll cruise.

If not, who knows?
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: December 14, 2010 11:57 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2010 12:13 am

Emmert discusses subject of coaches lying to NCAA

INDIANAPOLIS -- NCAA president Mark Emmert said Tuesday that he believes coaches who lie to NCAA investigators should be subject to the same type of punishment given to student-athletes who lie to NCAA investigators.

"I certainly believe [the same guidelines] should apply, of course," Emmert said. "[They should apply] at least as much [as they apply to student-athletes]."

Emmert's comments came in the middle of an informal and wide-ranging conversation at St. Elmo Steak House here in Indianapolis with nine reporters from various national media outlets. His opinion on the subject is relevant because of the ongoing investigation into Tennessee's basketball program given that Bruce Pearl has already acknowledged lying to an NCAA investigator when initially asked about a photograph that proved he hosted a recruit at his home in violation of NCAA rules. Emmert repeatedly explained that he could not specifically discuss ongoing investigations, and that no two cases are alike. But when asked if a college coach who lies should be held to the same standard as a student-athlete who lies -- and when reminded that former Oklahoma State receiver Dez Bryant was suspended all of last season after lying to the NCAA -- Emmert said, "We certainly want to uphold the standards for coaches -- who are the teacher and the authority figure in that relationship -- to at least the same standards that we hold our students."

"All these situations are case-specific, so you can't easily or appropriately generalize," Emmert said. "But I want to make sure that we're creating an environment where coaches and universities are appropriately rewarded for good behavior and punished for bad behavior. I know that sounds silly and tripe. But we do need to have a situation where when coaches … are committing major infractions the penalties will be significant enough that they serve as a discouragement to that kind of behavior."

Tennessee has docked Pearl's pay and banned him from recruiting off campus for a year, and the SEC has suspended Pearl for eight league games despite the fact that the school still hasn't received a notice of allegations from the NCAA. A notice of allegations is expected to arrive no later than January. Among other things, Emmert made it clear in a back-and-forth hypothetical about possible punishments that the NCAA's Committee on Infractions could suspend a coach (in this case, Pearl) from coaching over and above what any league (in this case, the SEC) might do. Furthermore, Emmert did not dispute the notion that a suspension from coaching in the NCAA tournament even if the coach's team is allowed to participate could serve as a form of punishment for coaches who violate rules.

"That would be a really interesting outcome," Emmert said.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: December 13, 2010 3:15 pm
Edited on: December 13, 2010 3:18 pm

The Poll Attacks

Did some AP voters really rank Pittsburgh ahead of Tennessee?

Yes, some really did.

Their punishment is a featured spot in this week's Poll Attacks.

I won't stop till the stupidity stops. Real talk.

(Details of AP ballots courtesy of PollSpeak.com.)

AP poll:
I knew somebody would do it. Just had to get the ballots and start looking, and I knew I'd find it in seconds. So I got the ballots and started looking, and, seconds later, I found the ballot I knew I'd find -- the ballot that has Pittsburgh ahead of Tennessee despite the fact that Tennessee is undefeated with a dominating win over Pittsburgh.

The ballot belongs to Elton Alexander of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.

He's a friend.

So -- as I tell my son right before he must be disciplined -- this, Elton, is going to be harder for me than it is for you. But the Poll Attacks do not play favorites, and I can't sit here and let you get away with ranking Pittsburgh No. 4 and Tennessee No. 9 on your ballot. Pitt, you might've heard, lost a pretty lopsided game this past weekend. In Pittsburgh. To Tennessee. Which means the Vols are still undefeated, and that they now have wins over the two schools picked first and second in the preseason Big East poll. And yet, Elton, you have three Big East teams still ranked ahead of Tennessee, including the Big East team that just lost to Tennessee after trailing the Vols by 21 points in the second half.

Beyond that, why aren't the Vols in the top five (or even top three), period?

They meet every criteria when it comes to ranking teams.

They have obvious talent (two McDonald's All-Americans in the starting lineup), a coach with a proven history of success (Bruce Pearl wins nearly 80 percent of his games), signature victories (over Villanova in New York and over Pitt in Pittsburgh) and no losses. There is absolutely no reason to be skeptical, but that's another post for another day. For this day, let's just keep it simple: You can rank Pittsburgh wherever you like, but you can't have the Panthers ahead of the Vols. That makes no sense. And it's why Elton Alexander's ballot looks silly -- as do the ballots belonging to The Capital's John McNamara (Pitt at No. 6, UT at No. 8), the Free Lance-Star's Steve DeShazo (Pitt at No. 6, UT at No. 8), and the Olean Times-Herald's J.P. Butler (Pitt at No. 7, UT at No. 9). I mean, come on guys. I post my updated Top 25 (and one) every Sunday night. If you have to cut-and-paste it, just cut-and-paste it.

Coaches poll: The coaches have Duke at the top, Tennessee in the top seven (and ahead of Pittsburgh and Villanova), San Diego State in the top 10, Michigan State still in the top 15, Louisville ahead of UNLV, and, I must say, these dudes did a pretty reasonable job this week.


I could quibble with Missouri being one spot ahead of Georgetown considering both teams have one loss to quality opponents, and Missouri's loss actually came to Georgetown in Kansas City, Missouri. But that's a minor detail. Florida at No. 24 and Central Florida unranked doesn't make a lot of sense either considering UCF is undefeated with a win over Florida. But I'm not ranking UCF (or Florida, for that matter), and I still think the Gators are a Top 25ish team. So that doesn't bother me much. Meantime, every single team that got a vote in the coaches poll -- Texas A&M, Temple, Old Dominion, Washington State, etc., -- can be justified on a Top 25 ballot. So what I'm trying to say -- and this is really hard for me to say -- is that I don't have any major issues with the coaches poll. I disagree with parts, but there's nothing that infuriates me. So in the spirit of giving credit where credit is due, I offer an attaboy to the coaches who voted this week. They weren't perfect, but they were way better than normal. And, again, they've got Tennessee ahead of Pittsburgh, which is pretty good, relatively speaking.
Posted on: December 11, 2010 7:13 pm
Edited on: December 11, 2010 7:20 pm

UT's Hopson (finally) looking like a future pro

Brandon Jennings was the No. 1 prospect in Scout.com's Class of 2008 rankings.

Samardo Samuels was No. 2.

B.J. Mullens was No. 3.

The rest of the top 10 consisted of Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans, DeMar DeRozan, Greg Monroe, Devin Ebanks, Ed Davis and Scotty Hopson. What you might notice from that list is that every one of those guys except Hopson -- who was ranked sixth, right between DeRozan and Monroe -- has already played for an NBA franchise, which is evidence that Hopson didn't spend his first two years at Tennessee living up to expectations.

He spent Saturday doing it, though.

The 6-foot-7 guard took 13 shots, made 10 and finished with a career-high 27 points to help the 11th-ranked Vols to an 83-76 upset of No. 3 Pittsburgh. No, the game wasn't played on campus at the Peterson Events Center. But it was still in the city (at the new downtown home of the Penguins), and that means it was the Panthers' first non-league loss in Pittsburgh since January 2005 -- otherwise known as back when Bruce Pearl was coaching Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and long before every conversation about UT revolved around the NCAA investigation into its men's basketball program.

Honestly, that was the only bad thing about the win for Tennessee.

The Vols were so dominant from start to finish -- they led by 10 points eight minutes in, by 12 points at halftime and by 21 points midway through the second half -- that ESPN's Sean McDonough and Jay Bilas had plenty of time to drift away from the action on the court and discuss Pearl's acknowledged violations, which is never a good thing for Pearl. But it was a small price to pay for an overwhelming and resume-building win that will launch the Vols into the top five of the Top 25 (and one) when the rankings are updated late Sunday, and Hopson is a big reason why all this is happening.

He's been consistently good in Tennessee's past three games -- wins over Villanova, Middle Tennessee and Pittsburgh -- and made 21 of 33 field goal attempts while averaging 21.3 points. More impressively, he's just looked dominant. No blending in. No disappearing. Hopson is finally playing like the guy who belonged in the top 10 of the Class of 2008. And if he keeps this up, he'll join all those classmates in the NBA soon enough.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com