Pearl sends a zinger Kiffin's way

Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl, who's dealing with his own issues, obviously misses the days when former Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin was stealing all the off-the-field headlines in Knoxville.

Pearl spoke at the Knoxville Quarterback Club on Monday and thanked the fans for their support. He also apologized for embarrassing the university and then promptly took a shot at Kiffin, who left Tennessee in January to take the Southern California job.

"I've made mistakes. I clearly did," Pearl told the audience. "But what I was hoping for was that some other dumbass would get on the front page and take me off the hook.

"I miss Lane Kiffin."

Pearl lied to NCAA investigators earlier this year and has been suspended by the SEC for the Vols' first eight league games. The Tennessee football, basketball and baseball programs are all under investigation by the NCAA, and there's a chance that the NCAA could hand down additional penalties once Tennessee goes in front of the Committee on Infractions next year.

Kiffin was involved in several high-profile secondary NCAA violations during his time at Tennessee.