Dick Vitale is the dean of college basketball broadcasters, so it might be worrisome for Vol Coach Bruce Pearl that Vitale spent a lot of time on national television during the broadcast of the Vol-Vandy game Saturday trashing Pearl.
If NCAA investigators were listening, they heard Vitale say at one point that “at 99 percent of universities” Pearl would have been fired for lying to the NCAA. Vitale also, on several occasions, pointed out that an Oklahoma player lied to investigators and was suspended from playing for one year, and that to give Pearl any other punishment was inconsistent.
Pearl’s troubles with the NCAA and his suspension were also a frequent topic on ESPN’s College Game Day, which broadcast from Thompson-Boling Arena for two hours Saturday morning prior to the game with Vanderbilt.
Pearl was presumably at home watching the game on television while Vitale did the play-by-play. (However, he was seen later that night in attendance at the Lady Vols game.) At least the Vols won the game, under the leadership of Assistant Coach Tony Jones, who was wearing Pearl’s outsized orange blazer—although neither coach was likely happy with the team’s mediocre performance.