Bruce Pearl's future as men's basketball coach at the University of Tennessee is still unknown following the Volunteers 75-45 defeat Friday at the hands of the Michigan Wolverines in the NCAA tournament.
UT athletics director Mike Hamilton said at the beginning of last week that Pearl would be evaluated once the season was over. It probably didn't help that it ended with a 30-point shellacking.
However, that didn't stop fans from gathered outside Thompson-Boiling Arena in Knoxville on Sunday to show their support for the embattled coach.
|Photo from: usatoday.com|
The Southeastern Conference suspended Pearl for the Volunteers first eight conference games this season due to the rules violations.
Pearl, who has been working without a contract since he admitted he lied to investigators, has led Tennessee to the NCAA tournament in all six of his seasons. The Volunteers had made the tournament only 12 times the previous 34 years before Pearl took the job in 2006. In 2010, he led them to their deepest run ever, when they advanced all the way to the Elite Eight before being knocked off by the Michigan State Spartans, 70-69.
No doubt Pearl has enjoyed a lot of success in his tenure at Tennessee, but will it be enough to save his job in the end? I would expect we'll know the answer to that sooner rather than later.