Tennessee Vols Basketball: Bruce Pearl Is NOT on the Hot Seat

Joel BarkerSenior Writer IFebruary 13, 2010

TAMPA, FL - MARCH 15:  Head coach Bruce Pearl of the Tennessee Volunteers argues a call with the referees during the game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs during the Championship game of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament on March 15, 2009 at The St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida.   The Bulldogs defeated the Volunteers 64-61.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The absurdity indicated in the title of this article speaks volumes.

Why would I feel the need to spend time writing an article dispelling a ridiculous, pointless, ludicrous rumor that has no basis?

Alas, I feel that need. After nearly an entire week of hearing how Bruce Pearl has reached his peak at Tennessee, or how his style of coaching is nothing more than street ball, I have officially had enough!

Tennessee got manhandled at Vanderbilt. I'll give you that. Tennessee got punched in the mouth and never recovered, yes. Was that the coaches fault? Hardly.

Is it Bruce Pearl's fault that there are times when it seems like the Vols couldn't hit a shot if the rim was five-feet in diameter?

Is it the coach's fault that JP Prince constantly fouls shooters from behind the perimeter? Or that Prince takes ill-advised shots 75 percent of the time?

No way!

It's not Pearl's fault.

How about losing the team's best player due to a stupid decision that player made in his personal life? Or being without three key contributors for multiple games in conjunction with that best player's decision?

The bottom line is this Vols team is very different from the one that started the season ranked in the top ten.

It has been through an unbelievable range of emotions all season long. It has been one gigantic Big Orange Roller Coaster ride.

Much like the Football team experienced, minus a sniveling, coward coach.


This coach has stood there to take the brunt of the hit. He has sacrificed himself more than once in the media this season regarding the turmoil. The former coach of Tennessee's proud football program ran off under the cover of darkness.

Lopsided losses to Vanderbilt twice, Georgia, and USC are hard to take. I understand that. But when you actually care about what this team has been through you could probably understand a little better.

Face it, Vols fans, this is not a Final Four team. This might not even be a Sweet 16 team right now.

But it is a team. That's much more than we were able to say about Tennessee basketball teams in the past.

There are no big I's and little U's on this team. It's a family. It's a team. They win together, they lose together. They put it all on the line together.

You can thank Bruce Pearl for that.