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The Hoop Doctors

Tennessee’s Coach Bruce Pearl Makes Racial Remark During Speech

Bruce Pearl

September 25, 2009 – Allen Moll

Allen Moll is an avid NBA and College Basketball fan who watches and studies games religiously and coaches youth basketball in his native Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania. Allen is a regular columnist for,,, and his own blog, Hoops Haven.

The University of Tennessee mens basketball coach, Bruce Pearl, is as animated and colorful as they come. He is loud and obnoxious and at the same time caring to his players and fun loving. He is known for not only for keeping the Tennessee team in or around the Top 25 and leaders of the SEC, but doing it in a brash, bold, and sometimes inflamitory way.

In his 4+ years, he has done some pretty outlandish things in recent years like covering his entire body in orange paint to rev up Volunteer spirit, dress up as a Lady Volunteer cheerleader to cheer on women’s basketball team and head coach Pat Summit, and occasionally wears a bright orange blazer with matching suspenders to home games.

This time, Pearl was caught on video making a joking remark about his players coming from different backgrounds, linking some to the Klu Klux Klan. He was at a charity fundraising event on Thursday night and was asked about how he blends his players together from different backgrounds. He responded that, “It’s tough. I’ve got guys from Chicago, Detroit. I’m talking about the Hood! And I’ve got guys from Grainger County, where they wear the hood!”

Even though most audience members laughed, the coach made an apology on Friday that he didn’t mean to offend anyone and in trying to excite the crowd, that he made an inappropriate comment. It is unknown if the NCAA or the university will come down with any form of fine or punishment.

Here is some footage of the incident from WBIR-TV in Knoxville:

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