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|Tennessee Fires Coach Bruce Pearl
|KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Tennessee has fired Bruce Pearl after a season that saw the coach charged with unethical conduct for lying to NCAA investigators during a probe into recruiting.
Tennessee AD Mike Hamilton says Tennessee made the decision to relieve Pearl of his duties after learning about ``additional violations committed on September 14 and in March 2011'' by the staff.
Tennessee has agreed to pay Pearl $948,728 worth of salary and benefits as part of his dismissal agreement.
In six seasons, the 51-year-old Pearl led the Volunteers to their first No. 1 ranking and first NCAA tournament regional finals appearance, missing out on a trip to the 2010 Final Four by a single point.
Pearl acknowledged in a tearful press conference on Sept. 10 that he had given investigators false information when asked about a cookout at his home attended by high school juniors. The NCAA has since charged the Tennessee basketball and football programs with a dozen violations.
Associate head coach Tony Jones, who filled in while Pearl served a suspension earlier this season, thanked the fans on Twitter on Monday night.
``Sorry Vol Nation it had to end,'' Jones wrote. ``I love each and everyone of you to the bottom of my heart.''
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)