KNOXVILLE (WVLT) -- Former Tennessee basketball coach Don DeVoe spoke in very strong terms when asked about Bruce Pearl's NCAA situation Wednesday at the UT Tipoff Club luncheon.
"There's no excuse for not following the rules," DeVoe said. "When you have all the advantages that UT has in recruiting, fan support, all the amenities you could ever want, you never have to cross the line.
"These things sometimes happen, but they should never happen. It's...nonsense."
DeVoe, who coached at Tennessee from 1978-89, was never charged with a serious NCAA violation during his time in Knoxville.
"When I worked at Tennessee and [if similar violations had happened], I would be greatly surprised if [athletic director] Bob Woodruff or [UT president] Boling would be as supportive as Tennessee has been supportive of Coach Pearl," DeVoe said.
When asked if Pearl should be fired, DeVoe said "that's not for me to say."
"I don't know if you ever truly get away from it," DeVoe said. "What is your legacy going to be at the end of your coaching career?
"We all want to have a great legacy when it's said and done, but if you're cheating to win, winning doesn't really mean anything.
"I don't know where this is going to end, but it's certainly marred the image of Tennessee men's basketball."
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