Tennessee basketball fans – well, at least 10,000 of them – want to bring back former head coach Bruce Pearl ahead of the 2014-2015 season. Pearl, who was fired by the university back in 2011 after a series of recruiting violations surfaced, currently works as an analyst on ESPN. His show-cause penalty expires on August 23rd, 2014, meaning the university would not meet resistance from the NCAA if it chose to bring him back after that date. Clay Travis spotted the petition that’s been making the rounds.
Nearly 10k UT fans have signed this petition to rehire Bruce Pearl. Language is from my column: http://t.co/Z1jxWi7Mlm
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravisBGID) February 17, 2014
Under Pearl, the program qualified for the NCAA tournament in each of his six years – even reaching the Elite Eight in 2010. Since his departure, the Vols, led by Cuonzo Martin, have not performed to the same level.
As always, there is a flip-side to the argument. Those who oppose the idea of rehiring Pearl could argue that the self-imposed sanctions resulting from his actions have hurt recruiting.