Pearl was recently hit with a three-year, show-cause penalty by the NCAA committee on infractions and can’t coach in the college ranks for that period, anyway.
Pearl told ESPN.com part of the decision stemmed from having two children in high school in the KNoxville area and wanting to spend time with them.
“Donnie Nelson was unbelievably gracious and provided a terrific opportunity,” Pearl told ESPN.com Tuesday. “I really thought that was what I was going to do. But I couldn’t leave my children.