Knoxville — Former Tennessee men's basketball coach Don DeVoe said he's "very surprised" by the support current coach Bruce Pearl has received from the school in light of allegations of NCAA violations.
"When I worked here at the University of Tennessee, if all that had happened, I would be greatly surprised if (former UT officials) Bob Woodruff or Dr. (Ed) Boling would have supported me as long as the University of Tennessee has supported Coach Pearl," DeVoe said after speaking to the Big Orange TipOff Club on Wednesday. "It's really unfortunate, and I don't know where this is going to end, but it has certainly marred the image of Tennessee men's basketball."
Pearl spoke to the club briefly and was not present when DeVoe addressed the audience and conducted the interview afterward.
"You can be successful without having to cross the line," said DeVoe, who coached the Vols from 1978-89. "It just requires a lot of work; it requires intelligence. But you certainly don't ever need to cross the line when it comes to recruiting. It just makes everybody look bad."
DeVoe was also of critical of Pearl when addressing the club.
"Tennessee has paid a price this year, and I think Tennessee men's basketball will pay a price for a while," he said. "It's really a shame because, to me, this is all nonsense because, when you have all the amenities that Tennessee has, you just don't have to do the other."
NCAA charges Vols
The NCAA says Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl and former football coach Lane Kiffin committed recruiting violations and failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance with NCAA rules in their programs.
Following its 22-month investigation of the athletics program, the NCAA notified Tennessee of a dozen rules violations by the coaches, their assistants and the university itself in a letter released by the school on Wednesday. Kiffin, who is now at Southern California, received a separate notice of the allegations against him.Tennessee's baseball program was included in the investigation but was not accused of any violations. The university has until May 21 to respond