KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl said Tuesday that Tennessee is ``the only school I am interested in talking about.''
Tennessee basketball spokesman Craig Pinkerton said Pearl wanted to issue the statement to end rumors and speculation that he might be considered for job openings elsewhere.
``While there have been rumors about me being considered for coaching jobs at other schools, I want the Tennessee fans to know that the only school I am interested in talking about is the University of Tennessee,'' Pearl said. ``We have started something special here and I look forward to being a part of it for a very long time.''
Tennessee athletics department spokeswoman Tiffany Carpenter said athletics director Mike Hamilton has not received any official request from another school to interview Pearl.
Pearl this season led the Volunteers to a program-best 31-5 record, their first outright regular season Southeastern Conference championship since 1967 and a second-consecutive NCAA tournament regional semifinal appearance.
His contract is worth $1.3 million a year and currently runs through 2013.
It includes built-in salary increases, bonuses for postseason play and a ``loyalty bonus'' of $500,000, should he stay at Tennessee through the 2009-10 season.
Hamilton will meet with Pearl in the coming month but has not said whether Pearl will receive an additional raise as a reward for Tennessee's success in 2007-08.
Pearl said he's enjoyed the fan support at Tennessee and has dug ``his roots deep'' in the community.
``The fan support has been amazing with 20,000 fans at Thompson-Boling Arena creating the best home-court advantage in the nation,'' he said.
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