- Tennessee has accomplished the rare feat of being the lead image-enhanced story on both the basketball and football pages of all of the major media outlets. We dominate. There's a ton of information to digest, and everybody's got their opinions, of course. CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd says the Notice of Allegations "doesn't look that bad for Tennessee" but he does so suggesting it should look worse. Gary Parrish, who's right, says that if you're trying to draw conclusions about Bruce Pearl from the NCAA's treatment of UConn, you shouldn't be looking at head coach Jim Calhoun but at terminated operations director Beau Archibald, who was the deceiver in the UConn drama. Gregg Doyel reserves his harsh words for Mike Hamilton.
- SI's Stewart Mandel cosigns with Doyel and pounds the podium while he's at it.
- ESPN's Pat Forde? More Mike Hamilton:
"It's bad when the football program is charged with major violations. It's bad when the men's basketball program is charged with major violations. When they both get charged at the same time? It's really bad. Fireable offense bad."Dana O'Neil combs through the NCAA's databases and finds that in 19 of 20 cases in which an individual was charged with unethical conduct, they were hit with a two-year show-cause penalty. Eamonn Brennan predicts that Pearl will keep his job anyway because the UT administration is behind him and appreciates his success.
Chris Low, focusing more on football than basketball, notes that the NCAA seems much more interested in Lane Kiffin than the Tennessee football program.
- All by strategic design, says Clay Travis, in one of the most interesting pieces of the day that also points out just how lucky Tennessee fans are that Kiffin up and left. He's right, too.
- So what about the administration's continued support of Pearl? Former Tennessee's men's basketball coach Don DeVoe can hardly believe it. That new revelation that Pearl and company committed another secondary violation four days after his remorse-filled press conference last September pushes it down the perplexing continuum, although GVX reports that Hamilton knew about it, didn't think it was a violation, and plans to appeal it. Um, okay. Whatever the case, if I had to guess right now, I'd say that Tennessee has gone all in with its desire to keep Pearl regardless of most anything, and it's done the best job it could so far with that strategy, deflecting the football stuff to the West Coast and mitigating the situation to the extent it could with preemptive self-imposed punishments. Will it be enough? I don't know, but I do think we're probably looking at a show-cause penalty against Pearl. Unlike most media outlets, however, I don't think that's the end of the story. A show-cause penalty only means that no program can hire that individual without first appearing before the Committee on Infractions and making its case to hire him despite the panelty. It's a rebuttable presumption of sorts. Making that case would be difficult, of course, because the NCAA has already determined that something went wildly wrong -- thus the show-cause penalty. But that doesn't mean that the program couldn't still hire him at some cost, which would likely buying the right to retain Pearl by taking penalties itself. What will they be? Will the university be willing to suffer them? Stay tuned.