Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl is operating without a contract, yet the father of star freshman forward Tobias Harris said the situation won’t impact his son.
“There’s no impact on Tobias,” Torrel Harris said. “He’s very focused and ready for the basketball season. He’s working extremely hard and his energy level is very high. I expect great results for Tobias and the UT basketball team.”
Pearl, in turn, called the 6-foot-8 Long Island native “the hardest working guy I’ve ever had.” Pearl said 13 of 14 Vols also cited Harris when asked to name the team’s hardest working player.
Tennessee lost three starters, including post player Wayne Chism, so Harris, a 2010 McDonald’s All-American, should play a key role.
“Tobias Harris is one of the most mature freshmen in college basketball, and he comes to Tennessee at a really important time,” Pearl said. With those losses, “you need a guy that you can plug in there and really not have a lot of dropoff.”
It was recently reported that in a letter from Tennessee officials notifying Pearl his contract would be terminated, the Volunteers coach told men’s basketball recruits and their families that a visit to his home for a team cookout would be an NCAA violation.
The letter, released Friday by the university, outlines the reasons why athletics director Mike Hamilton ended Pearl’s contract. The letter also states Pearl told the recruits he would not report the violation and asked that they do the same.
Tennessee is under investigation by the NCAA because of recruiting practices by Pearl and his staff. The coach has acknowledged he mislead the NCAA and Hamilton has punished Pearl by docking his salary by $1.5 million and banning him from off-campus recruiting for a year.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.