In perhaps the worst kept secret in recent Tennessee history, Bruce Pearl was informed that he will be fired as Tennessee head coach on Monday. 

Proving true the rumor that published on Saturday, Pearl and his assistants will receive buyouts.

Pearl's fate was sealed when he committed a violation four days after his September press conference in which he admitted that he lied to the NCAA. 

Pearl was charged with unethical conduct by the NCAA, effectively ensuring he would be suspended from coaching for at least two years. 

Tennessee's hand was forced by the NCAA. Regardless of the "Team Pearl" movement and the rallies still scheduled in support of the embattled coach, there was no way that Tennessee was ever going to bear the brunt of the NCAA's massive sledgehammer with Pearl at the helm.

There is indication that the Vols were looking at losing two scholarships for two years, multiple massive recruiting restrictions, along with Pearl being slapped with a two-year show-cause penalty which would have kept him away from the program for the duration of that term, if Tennessee would have kept him. 

In other words, this move was unavoidable.

It's now time for Tennessee officials to shift to search mode for the next head coach of the basketball Vols.

This will be the third major head coaching search for Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton since 2008.