FILE - In this Nov. 26, 2010 file photo, Tennessee...

FILE - In this Nov. 26, 2010 file photo, Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl, right, and associate head coach Tony Jones react during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Villanova in the finals of the NIT Season Tip-Off in New York. Credit: AP

It wasn't a suprise that Bruce Pearl got his walking papers.

It was made obvious when Tennessee athletic director said they would evaluate Pearl's future with the program a day before the tournament.

The question is where will Pearl land next. He was never the most popular coach after his days as an assistant at Iowa, when he recorded a recruit admitting to an NCAA violation.

The recruit in question was Deon Thomas. Pearl was in a battle with Illinois for Thomas. After losing out on Thomas to the Illini, Pearl taped a conversation with Thomas where he admitted receiving a SUV and cash. Pearl sent the tape to the NCAA.

Even though the NCAA didn't sanction Illinois for the incident, Pearl was effectively "black listed" by the coaching community.

Fast foward to Pearl's eight-game suspension for having improper contact with recruits and then misleading NCAA investigators.

Is Pearl worth the trouble? It's hard to see a big time program taking a shot with Pearl now. It may be a couple of years before he gets back into the good graces of the college basketball community. But a desparate mid-major looking for a jolt may take a chance.

It took Mike Jarvis five years to get another job after he left St. John's during the 2003-2004 season. Jarvis is coaching at Florida Atlantic now, which qualified for the NIT.

Morgan State coach Todd Bozeman survived an eight-year show cause penalty received while he was at Cal Berkley. Bozeman has led Morgan State to two NCAA and one NIT appearance in five years at the school.

Pearl, who's been to eight NCAA appearances in 10 years as a Division I coach, won't have to wait too long for another job.

Top Stories