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Tennessee Basketball News Flash: Discipline Is Not Always Counterproductive!

DAYTON, OH - MARCH 20: Tyler Smith #1 of the Tennessee Volunteers drives to the hoop against James Anderson #23 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the first round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the University of Dayton Arena on March 20, 2009 in Dayton, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Michael SchwarzbaumContributor IIJanuary 11, 2010

Kudos to Coach Pearl. In an era in which many coaches are scared to discipline, he was not.  

With wins against Charlotte and Kansas, there is no trace of regret in Pearl's mind. He did something unprecedented.

Never has a coach suspended four of his top eight players in points and minutes played. Walk-ons were responsible for 45 of the minutes played against Kansas.  

The main point is not the victory; it's the cool-as-a-cucumber attitude that Pearl is showing.

The main point is that a coach suspended four players before a scheduled game against a No. 1 team. But he didn't care. There are more important things in college basketball than the sport itself: the shaping and development of the players that happens on the college level. 

People often forget that coaches are teachers too. Bob Knight taught his players the ways not to act when a camera is on you. John Chaney taught you how to fight back, by risking a player that otherwise wouldn't play. (I know that Chaney is a Hall of Fame coach; I was merely poking fun.)

However, nowadays, in the times of the one-and-done player, people oftentimes overlook some shady actions because "they will be gone in a year."

You send a kid to college for that year so he can learn responsibility. Without this year, who knows what would have happened.

Is Tyler Smith's life ruined after being kicked out? I don't know. But I know that Pearl is upset too. 

Pearl responded, saying, “I am deeply troubled and saddened.” 

Pearl does not hate Smith; he took responsibility for him.  

College basketball, as a whole, cares for its players.

Tough love. Class dismissed. 

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