The Amazing Mr. Hamilton

It turns out that with no fanfare at all, Tennessee terminated Bruce Pearl’s employment contract in the wake of the NCAA letter of inquiry being issued in connection with several of Pearl’s recruiting practices.  If you haven’t seen Mike Hamilton’s termination letter, take a minute to read it.  It’s a doozy.

In light of the harsh terms contained in the letter, many people now wonder why Pearl hasn’t been completely dismissed from the program.  In fact, things are proceeding in the opposite direction.

Tennessee men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl has worked without a formal contract for more than a month, but his boss said both sides are “in the process of finalizing” a new contract.

According to athletic director Mike Hamilton, the coach has been working under a “letter of appointment” since Sept. 9. Hamilton said he sent the proposed new contract to Pearl and his lawyers on Oct. 8, and the sides have since been working to complete the deal.

“We’ve made the decision — and Bruce knows it — that he’s our coach, and this is just a part of the formal process to get him back under the new contract with the new terms,” Hamilton said Thursday night. “Technically, he violated the terms of the previous contract, so that contract had to be terminated. There was a new contract [needed] as a result of that.”

“Technically, he violated the terms of the previous contract” has such an innocuous ring to it, doesn’t it?

I think about this in recalling something Pearl said when Junior was busy getting under everyone’s skin.

… During a Wednesday meeting, SEC commissioner Mike Slive intends to implement the Kiffin Rule. In other words, telling his coaches to stop the bull—-.

Whatever happened to The Golden Rule?

“He’s playing you guys perfect,” Tennessee hoops coach Bruce Pearl said of Kiffin.

Pearl is the guy who advised Kiffin that it’s good to be hated. That means you’re doing something right in the SEC.

“My goal was to be the least popular coach in the SEC in a year,” Pearl said. “He managed to do it in a week.

“I know one of the biggest problems when I took over was the players didn’t believe. What I’m saying is, your coach better believe. He’s got something different … I get him. I get him in the sense that, look at how they’re recruiting. You have to do that with a certain confidence and a certain swagger. He’s probably said some things that other people were probably afraid to say. I truly believe he’s misunderstood.

“There’s nothing to dislike about him.”

Again, what does a coach have to do to get on Mike Hamilton’s bad side?  And how does Hamilton still have a job at UT?


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

14 responses to “The Amazing Mr. Hamilton

  1. TennesseeDawg

    Hamilton has complete support from the higher ups and the big boosters is how he keeps the job. They also supported this decision to keep Pearl. Tennessee would sell their soul for a few more wins in basketball. Ever since Pearl has been there he would drop hints that other schools were interested to get bigger pay raises. Now he’s radioactive and Tennessee has the upper hand.


    • Brandon

      I’ve had a friend that has been telling me for years that the whole school is just corrupt to the core, I have always taken it with a grain of salt because my friend is an Alabama fan but the incident with their players putting the cop in ICU and it being swept under the rug and stuff like this just makes it seem like Hamilton is correct, they DO have institutional control, and they mean to do exactly what they are doing. I hate Derek Dooley has gotten messed up with them.


      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        This is just more duplicity coming out of KnoxVegas. I said once before on this blog and it bears repetition here: UT is coming dangerously close to forfeiting its right to be called a university.


  2. Dog in Fla

    “Technically, he violated the terms of the previous contract”

    Which is far, far, far less technically expressed by Mike in his termination of employment agreement letter to Bruce reducing him to at will employee status, as “gross misconduct, including dishonesty and other acts involving intolerable behavior.”

     Mike Hamilton is a funny guy: “But this is far, far, far from a program that doesn’t have institutional control or is not trying to live by the letter of the law.”

    Derek now gets to hose Bruce down


  3. D.N. Nation

    Again, what does a coach have to do to get on Mike Hamilton’s bad side?

    My guess is lots more of this:


  4. Adam

    Did it strike anyone else as strange that Hamilton’s title is ‘Director of Men’s Athletics’? Maybe that’s why the Lady Vols have been as successful as they have been…


  5. Reptillicide

    Better question –

    How has Tennessee not been hit with “lack of institutional control?”


  6. Chrisville

    Did you see it was sent FedEx Overnight and UPS? That may be normal but that seems like overkill to me. They probably could have put it in his inbox too.


  7. Dawgfan17

    Think we can partner with other SEC fans to contribute a bit of money to entice UT to offer Hamilton a lifetime contract?


  8. No One Knows You're a Dawg

    It strikes me that Hamilton and UT are taking an option on retaining Pearl while trying to make it look to the NCAA like they are taking the whole thing very seriously. If were the NCAA I would be offended by how transparently UT is trying to keep all their options on the table regarding Pearl.

    Hamilton is just waiting to see what the NCAA does. If they don’t hammer UT too much, Pearl will get a new contract and all will be as before. If UT gets hammered (And for goodness sake how can they not get hammered? Covering up violations should be worse than committing violations.) Pearl will take the fall and be shown the door.