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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Ex-Tennessee interim coach lands at Knoxville-area high school

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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Tony Jones

The true measure of the impact of Bruce Pearl misleading NCAA investigators last year can be seen in where the recently fired Tennessee coach's assistants have been hired this offseason.

Steve Forbes became the coach at Florida junior college. Jason Shay will be Forbes' lone assistant. And former Tennessee associate head coach and interim coach Tony Jones apparently will be dropping down to the high school ranks next year.

According to the Knoxville News-Sentinel, Jones has accepted the head coaching position at Alcoa High School, a Knoxville-area team that went 23-7 a year ago but historically hasn't been much of a hoops powerhouse. That's a steep fall for a man who coached the past 18 years in college basketball and had aspirations of becoming a college head coach someday soon.

The willingness of Jones to drop down to the high school ranks suggests college athletic directors currently view him as too radioactive to hire in light of the accusations levied against him in the NCAA's notice of allegations to Tennessee.

Jones allegedly make impermissible phone calls to former Vols recruits Aaron Craft and Chris Singleton and impermissible contact with another recruit during a visit to his high school last year. Furthermore, he too allegedly lied to NCAA investigators about the barbecue Pearl hosted for recruits at his house in 2008.

Pearl, of course, is currently without a job, but his his unemployment should be far easier to stomach considering the $1 million buyout he received from Tennessee. In other words, don't expect to see him join Jones in the high school ranks anytime soon.

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