Pearl: 'I still have my orange on'

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CROSSVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Bruce Pearl spoke on camera Monday for the first time since his ouster, sitting down for an exclusive interview with the Sports Overtime team.

"It's a real life-changing transition, but we've purposely tried to take the focus off ourselves," Pearl said.

"It's been a few weeks since I got fired. It's time for me to walk away from that."

Pearl refused to comment on the specific events surrounding his firing, but said he's still loyal to the school he led to six NCAA Tournaments in six seasons.

"I still have my orange on, and I still sign my name 'Go Vols,'" Pearl said.

Pearl was working at Camp Koinonia, a camp for mentally challenged kids. Pearl has been very involved with the camp since coming to Tennessee.

"This is God's calling, to do good things in the community," Pearl said. "So this is what we're going to continue to do."

Pearl has not moved elsewhere; in fact, he says he plans on remaining in town for the near future.

"My family and I still live here and plan on living here for awhile," Pearl said. "My kids go to school here.

"We're trying to keep things as normal as we possibly can without being a distraction and without taking attention away from our new coach.

"A lot of times you brought [attention] to yourself because it was the right thing to do to develop the program. Now it needs to go elsewhere."

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