Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mike Hamilton, You're Next!

As Tennessee will try to recover from the Bruce Pearl era (as they await their punishment from the NCAA in the coming months), another UT figure is now under fire. In addition to hiring two of the more...uh...shady coaches in the collegiate ranks lately -- Lane Kiffin and the aforementioned Pearl before him -- Tennessee AD Mike Hamilton has now been accused of being a liar.

As I posted yesterday, 2011 basketball recruit, Kevin Ware, has asked to be released from his LOI from Tennessee. But what was most interesting is what Ware had to say about Hamilton regarding Pearl's status as head coach. Here is what Kevin Ware told the website "GoVolsXtra" about his "meeting" with Hamilton on March 6th:

“I think the AD really messed everything up,'' said Ware, a guard from Rockdale County High School in Conyers, Ga. He is ranked as the No. 56 player in the nation by

Ware said he resented UT athletic director Mike Hamilton assuring him and other players on March 6 that Pearl would return as coach.

“Right after (Tennessee) lost to Kentucky, they pulled us into a little area where they watch film,'' Ware said. “(Hamilton) came in there talking to everyone, saying Bruce would be here for sure.

“I really didn't appreciate that, and Bruce was right there in front of him, he was saying he had his contract and we want Bruce here for the next couple years,'' he said. “I was thinking everything would be cool.''

“I don't know what happened from then until now; everything was fine from what he was saying.''

So what DID happen between then and now? Well, GoVolsXtra also reports that Pearl committed yet another violation this month -- providing two extra tickets to a player's allotment before Tennessee's game against Kentucky. Ahh, how dare he! It's pretty clear Hamilton was looking for ANY excuse to get rid of Pearl at this point in the game (the 30-point loss to Michigan was also a good candidate). Regardless, whether intentional or not, Hamilton did lie to the basketball recruits. And given these crazy circumstances, I can see no way that Tennessee doesn't grant these recruits their outright release (though UT hasn't yet).

Given the state of Tennesse two most powerful athletic programs (football and men's hoops), I think it's safe to say Mike Hamilton is now firmly on the hot seat.


  1. What? Hamilton was looking for any excuse to keep Pearl. That's why he let this thing drag out so long. My understanding is that SEC commissioner Slive had a meeting with Hamilton during the SEC tournament and, after hearing what Slive had to say, Hamilton felt he had no choice but to let Pearl go in an attempt to lessen NCAA sanctions that could cripple the program long-term.

  2. You could very well be right about the meeting with Slive, but the "official" reason given pertained to the NCAA violations. The Slive meeting could however be part of Hamilton saying the staff's firing was also due to "recent non-NCAA related incidents." So you could be right.

  3. I should also point out how idiotic it is that Hamilton didn't fire him before now. He knows that Tennessee is going to get popped by the NCAA (Pearl already got popped by the SEC), so why not fire him as soon as the violations were reported by the NCAA a few weeks ago?