Tag:Mike Hamilton
Posted on: June 7, 2011 2:50 pm
Edited on: June 7, 2011 2:53 pm

Yes, Mike, it was inevitable

Mike Hamilton announced his resignation as Tennessee's athletic director on Tuesday.

He said the following words: "I think today was inevitable."

Sure, Hamilton said lots more. He talked about his personal life and professional life, talked about his past and future and even quoted scripture. All in all, it was an OK performance. But the words that stood out most were the five from above because they suggested Hamilton recognized what he was up against even if he almost certainly recognized it later than most. You see, once Tennessee decided to split with Bruce Pearl because of Pearl's acknowledged NCAA violations it became obvious that Hamilton, the man who hired Pearl, wouldn't last. I had no idea whether the resignation would come in June 2011 or August 2011 or January 2012. But I've said many times on many radio stations that Tennessee would have a new athletic director, one way or another, when all of its NCAA issues were in the past. That educated guess has been confirmed.

Now to the big picture.

As my colleague Gregg Doyel pointed out, this can't be good news for Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, because it's the latest example that athletic directors can't survive reckless employees as well as they used to. Mike Garrett didn't survive Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo at USC. Lew Perkins didn't survive the ticket scandal at Kansas, and Hamilton didn't survive Lane Kiffin and Pearl at Tennessee.

So will Smith really survive Jim Tressel and Terrelle Pryor at Ohio State?

Somehow, I doubt it.

Like Hamilton said, it's probably inevitable.
Posted on: March 21, 2011 10:13 pm
Edited on: March 21, 2011 10:27 pm

Statement from UT AD Mike Hamilton

The following is a statement from Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton.

It confirms Monday's firing of Bruce Pearl.

"Today, we are announcing that we have reached an agreement with Bruce Pearl that will result in him and his immediate staff being relieved of their duties with the University of Tennessee men’s basketball program. This is a difficult day for many obvious reasons. Six years ago, Bruce Pearl arrived on our campus and renewed hope in Tennessee Basketball. He, his staff, and our student-athletes have allowed us as administrators and fans to enjoy unprecedented success and many victories during that time. He has become a friend to many and has done tremendous work in our community.

"Upon receipt of our NCAA Letter of Inquiry in September, we made the difficult decision to forego common national opinion and forge ahead with Bruce and his staff pending any further major infractions or issues that would preclude our basketball program from representing the University of Tennessee in the right manner. The months that followed have been difficult on everyone – our staff, our coaches, our administration, our fans and, certainly, our young men. During this time, the dynamics of our case with the NCAA have evolved further, including additional violations committed on September 14 and in March 2011. The cumulative effect of the evolution of the investigation combined with a number of more recent non-NCAA-related incidents have led to a belief that this staff cannot be viable at Tennessee in the future. Therefore, it is in the best interests of our institution to move in a different direction.

"We have included separation terms that will detail more clearly our role in the transition for Coach Pearl and his assistant coaches. In the meantime, we have named native Tennessean and a former head coach, Houston Fancher, as interim coach during our hiring process. Our search process will begin immediately. This is a great job and will attract a significant number of interested coaches. Much of that interest is a tribute to what Coach Pearl has helped to build, but more importantly, what our fans have built. We will take an appropriate amount of time, but will move as swiftly as is effective to bring this to conclusion. Lastly, I want to apologize to our fans for my untimely comments prior to last week's NCAA appearance. distraction to what has already been a year of distractions. While my comments were never intended for harm, they became an unneeded distraction to what has already been a year of distractions."

----- Terms of Agreement -----

Head men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl will be paid at his current salary rate through June 30, 2011. He will also receive $50,000 per month for 12 months, from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012, and will also receive health insurance costs. This cumulative figure is $948,728. Additionally, the men’s basketball coaching staff will each be paid at their current salary rate through July 31, 2011.
Posted on: March 16, 2011 3:44 pm

UT AD wavers on future of Pearl

DAYTON, Ohio -- Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton publicly wavered for the first time Wednesday when asked about Bruce Pearl's future as the head coach of the Vols basketball program.

"We don’t know the answer today,” Hamilton told a Knoxville radio station. "We’ve done a lot of soul searching about the direction of our program and we’ll continue to do that and we’ll decide after we’re out of the NCAA Tournament what direction it is that we’re going to go next. We’re not going to finish our evaluation until after the season is over."

Hamilton's comments are the first real sign that Tennessee might be prepared to remove Pearl shortly after the conclusion of this season because of recruiting violations that have brought sanctions and bad publicity to the school. He had previously suggested Pearl would continue as coach even if the NCAA levies additional penalties because he didn't view Pearl's transgressions as firable offenses, but clearly things have changed. Asked if Pearl is bothered by the fact that he's working without a contract, Hamilton said, "I’m sure he is.  Absolutely.  But he had a chance to have had a contract back in November and December and we just never got to the finish line. Now we’ve got to the point where we don’t feel like we can do that."

Tennessee plays Michigan in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Friday.
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