It's the day before the "Third" Saturday in October, but somehow hoops steals the headlines. Here's what's out there this morning:
- Pat Summitt gets top billing this for saying she should be fired were she ever to bend the rules in recruiting. Although the question followed up on a discussion of Bruce Pearl's rather unfortunate cheating and lying, Summitt has since clarified that Pearl "never entered [her] mind" and claimed the media were "making something out of it that it's not." We will not question Pat Summitt because we're pretty sure she would find us and make us regret it.
- Speaking of Bruce, he's not exactly a full employee of the University of Tennessee at the moment. It seems the University terminated Pearl's contract in order to draw up a new one with the agreed $1.5 million salary reduction. So Bruce has been working under a "letter of appointment" since Sept. 9, meaning he could walk at any time (won't happen) or the University could fire him at any time (also unlikely, although no one's really quite sure what they and/or the NCAA know that we don't). AD Mike Hamilton sent Pearl a proposed new contract on Oct. 8, and the lawyers have been doing their lawlerly best to iron out the details. Sounds like a done deal from what everyone's saying publicly, but nothing's actually signed yet.
- At least one of Bruce's players might not be so sure about this contract. When asked whether Bruce would be at Tennessee through the end of the season, guard Scotty Hopson said, "I don't know."
- All right, enough of that mess. On to football. Where there's actually not that much to report.
- Derek Dooley and Nick Saban are friends. They play golf together. Saban's a funny guy. Funny how? I mean, funny like he's a clown? Like a little midget clown? That actually does sound kind of funny.
- Chuck Smith and Nick Saban are also friends. This makes less sense, but apparently they know each other through Jimmy Sexton and Chuck has given motivational speeches to Saban's squads at Michigan St. and Bama. Huh.
- Coaches want the secondary to get more physical with receivers. That would involve them being close enough to make contact, which, yes, we would like.
- Former #11 Joey Kent hopes current #11 Justin Hunter breaks all his career records (receptions, receiving yards, receiving TDs). We're with you Joey, and here's hoping Bones finds somebody half as good as #16 to get him the ball.