Tennessee Can’t Fire Bruce Pearl

After admitting that he lied to the NCAA, it appears that the Vols couldn’t get rid of Coach Pearl even if they wanted to. Andy Katz of ESPN reports: “Tennessee cannot terminate coach Bruce Pearl for cause without paying him until there is an NCAA ‘finding’ and, even then, it has to be determined Pearl knowingly engaged in conduct that was a ‘significant’ NCAA violation. A review of Pearl’s contract by an attorney familiar with these types of cases showed the specific termination clauses that protect Pearl despite his admission he misled NCAA investigators while they were pursuing allegations of recruiting violations. The contract examined had the salary amended in 2009 to increase Pearl’s salary to $1.9 million a year and extended a year through the 2014-15 season… ‘It’s hard to imagine a contract that affords a coach more protection than [fomer coach] Jim O’Brien’s contract with Ohio State,’ said Columbus-based attorney Joseph Murray, who represented O’Brien in his lawsuit against Ohio State for terminating him for cause prior to an NCAA investigation. ‘Bruce Pearl doesn’t have to imagine though, because he’s got just such a contract.’ O’Brien had admitted to making a payment to a recruit’s family for humanitarian aid in the former Yugoslavia. But firing him prior to the NCAA due process allowed O’Brien to collect more than $2.4 million from Ohio State.”