Hamilton shoots down reports of Pearl's interest in Memphis

Hamilton shoots down reports of Pearl's interest in Memphis

Posted: Updated:

By JIM WOGAN
6 Sports Director

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- Tennessee Athletics Director Mike Hamilton shot down media reports Thursday that said the University of Memphis has offered UT head basketball coach Bruce Pearl a job.

Hamilton told 6 News he and Pearl exchanged text messages Thursday and Pearl assured him that he has no plans to leave.

"The indication I got, and I feel really confident about it, that he has no interest," Hamilton said.

WMC in Memphis, apparently erroneously, reported that Pearl has been offered a seven year, $21 million contract and was expected to be in Memphis Thursday or Friday to interview for the position.

The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports that UM officials were expected to ask for permission to speak to Pearl later Thursday.

But the paper noted that a stumbling block to negotiations could be a $2.5 million buyout clause in Pearl's contract with UT.

Hamilton repeated statements he made to 6 Sports Wednesday, saying Memphis had not asked for permission to talk to Pearl and to his knowledge has not made any contact.

WMC also reported that former Indiana coach and current ESPN analyst Bobby Knight interviewed with Memphis on Wednesday.

The head coaching job at Memphis became available this week after John Calipari accepted the head coaching job at the University of Kentucky.

An unnamed Memphis booster told the Memphis FOX TV affiliate that there is definite interest in Pearl among some UM boosters, but that it's not unanimous.

Pearl was in Detroit Thursday to present an award. He has not returned phone calls or text messages from WATE 6 News.

A source at the UT Athletics Department said an official statement may be released later in the day Thursday.


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