The school and the coach reached agreement on a buyout that relieved Pearl of his duties, athletic director Mike Hamilton announced in a statement Monday night. The statement came after multiple sources told FOXSports.com earlier in the day that the Vols head coach — who is the subject of an NCAA investigation in which he admitted to lying to investigators — was informed by Hamilton of the decision on Monday morning.
According to Hamilton’s statement, Pearl’s total buyout is just short of $950,000, while the rest of the coaching staff will be paid through July 31.
Former Appalachian State head coach Houston Fancher, Tennessee’s coordinator of video scouting, has been named interim coach during while the school conducts its coaching search.
"The cumulative effect of the evolution of the investigation combined with a number of more recent non-NCAA-related incidents have led to a belief that this staff cannot be viable at Tennessee in the future," Hamilton’s statement read, referring to "additional violations committed on September 14 and in March 2011."
Pearl spent the past six seasons at Tennessee after coming from Wisconsin-Milwaukee and led the Vols to six consecutive NCAA tournament appearances.
However, Hamilton — according to sources — recently was informed that the NCAA would be coming down hard on Pearl, and he opted to cut ties.
The coach took to Facebook soon after the news broke.
"As many of you know, I have been fired as head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers. This really does not come as a surprise to me, but my emotions are getting the best of me," Pearl wrote.
"This is perhaps the saddest day in my life. I loved everything about Tennessee, Knoxville, and the Volunteers. These were the best years of my life!"
Pearl, 51, was 145-61 in his time in Knoxville. The Vols were blown out in the first round of the NCAA tournament by Michigan last week and finished the season 19-15 overall and 8-8 in SEC play.