KNOXVILLE (WVLT) -- Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl told media members Friday that the termination of his contract with The University of Tennessee in September was a formality and is simply part of the penalty he must pay for intentionally misleading NCAA investigators.
"The University changed the contract. That was their choice," Pearl said after practice Friday. "That's part of the penalty we're suffering. I obviously wasn't in control of when [the story regarding the contract termination] got released.
"I think this will die down now. Pretty much everything that we know is out there."
The University was forced to terminate Pearl's previous contract in order to draft a new agreement reflecting adjusted financial terms, namely a $1.5 million salary reduction over the next five years imposed by the University as punishment for Pearl's NCAA violation.
While Pearl has not yet signed the new contract, reports indicate he will do so. Until he does, he is an "employee-at-will," according to a letter written to Pearl by Tennessee chancellor Jimmy Cheek and athletic director Mike Hamilton.
Pearl admitted in early September that he had violated NCAA rules by lying to investigators regarding a potential secondary violation.