Will coach Pearl return to UT?

Will coach Pearl return to UT?

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KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Will Tennessee men's head basketball coach Bruce Pearl return next season?

Remarks by UT Athletic Director Mike Hamilton are casting doubts.

Jimmy Hyams, with Knoxville radio station WNML the Sports Animal, asked Hamilton in an interview Tuesday if Pearl would return.

Hamilton responded, "We don't know the answer today. We've done a lot of soul searching about the direction of our program and we'll continue to do that and we'll decide after we're out of the NCAA Tournament what direction it is that we're going to go next."

The NCAA has accused the Tennessee basketball program of violations including impermissible contact.

Coach Pearl is also accused of initially misleading UT and the NCAA. He's also accused of a recruiting violation days after admitting he had made mistakes.

Tennessee has already punished Pearl by reducing his salary by $1.5 million over four seasons and banning him from off-campus recruiting for a year.

The Southeastern Conference also weighed in with an eight-game suspension, which Pearl served earlier this season.

Despite all this, Hamilton previously said he supported Pearl and wanted him to remain as head coach.

UT has a deadline of May 21 to submit a response to the NCAA. University officials are expected to appear before the Committee on Infractions during its meeting on June 10-11 in Indianapolis.

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