Pearl: 'I still have my orange on'

By: Wes Boling Email
By: Wes Boling Email

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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  • by Anonymous on Apr 17, 2011 at 07:31 PM
    hamilton should be fired
  • by Chris on Apr 17, 2011 at 07:37 AM
    Quick to judge? He had repeated recruiting violations that may land us on probation- fact. He had a violation 4 days after he cried and apologized- fact. He hid Brian Williams failed drug test as an "injury"- fact. Don't blame anyone other than Pearl for setting back the program. And still possible probation looms. Thats not Mike's fault.
  • by Jeff Location: Oneida on Apr 16, 2011 at 04:43 PM
    Commenting on a previous comment. Blind are those that are quick to judge and not know the facts. Bruce Pearl brought life to an otherwise lifeless basketball program. I do not stand on a soap box and say what he did is right because it was not. I think everyone makes mistakes including myself, but he did come clean. I will always consider Bruce Pearl a VOLS family member. I regret the university did not stand behind him. If worried about sanctions then good luck. We just set Tennessee Basketball back 4-5 years as opposed to 2 years. Thanks Mike.
  • by Chris Location: Knoxville on Apr 16, 2011 at 09:24 AM
    You are all blind to the fact that Pearl disgraced himself and the university repeatedly. He was fired for cause and should not associate himself with UT even with a "Go Vols" signature.
  • by Kathy Location: Claxton on Apr 16, 2011 at 06:19 AM
    My daughter goes to Camp Koinonia and Bruce has been there every year. We told him yesterday that we still love him and he is truly a kind and giving person. UT will miss him.
  • by Charlie Location: Knox on Apr 15, 2011 at 07:17 PM
    Bruce Pearl put us back on the College BB map. He will always be known as the coach that built this program back to where it meant something to Vols fans and was relevant nationally. He is a class act and I hope he stays around for a long time.I also hope Cuonzo can continue what Pearl started.
  • by Bruce Pearl fan on Apr 15, 2011 at 06:07 PM
    We LOVE you Bruce Pearl! You have been good for our basketball program as well as our community. Who knows, maybe one day soon you can take joke Hamilton's job. Good luck to you & your family.
  • by Angie Location: Vonore,TN on Apr 15, 2011 at 03:31 PM
    Thank you for all you have done to rebuild men's basketball at Tennessee! We will miss you!
  • by Joe Location: Lenoir city on Apr 15, 2011 at 03:14 PM
    Always has been and still is a class act. Go Bruce
  • by Joan Location: Va on Apr 15, 2011 at 03:09 PM
    Coach Pearl is a fine man in my mind and I am sure he is sorry for anything he did wrong and I wish him the very best!!! God Bless !!!You did a fine job for our Vol's men Bruce- keep on being the man you are!From a LadyVol fan and Season Ticket holder.
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