Two West High School students who were involved in a fatal car accident Tuesday morning were at Tennessee men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl’s house earlier that night, Pearl said Wednesday.
The Knoxville Police Department is investigating the crash and said that there may have been alcohol involved. Along with the death of senior Bradley Prosise, three other students who were riding in the 1998 Chevrolet Blazer were injured.
Prosise was a senior at West and a close friend and classmate of Pearl’s son, Steven.
Pearl said the boys were at Pearl’s house for 30 to 45 minutes to celebrate the first-year coach’s daughter’s birthday.
“It’s a devastating occurrence,” Pearl told The Tennessean. “Earlier that evening, some of the guys that were in that car were at my house celebrating my daughter’s (Jacqui’s) birthday. We sang ‘Happy Birthday,’ ate some cake and then they left the house around 11:30 p.m.”
Pearl was adamant that the alcohol didn’t come from his house, and said his house has a no alcohol policy.
“We’ve got some rules at our house, and those guys know. There’s no drinking at our house,” Pearl told The Tennessean.
After going to the hospital on Tuesday morning Pearl immediately went and filmed a commercial with state troopers about the perils of drinking and driving.
“These are very difficult lessons to learn,” Pearl said.
VOLS SIGN THREE: Tennessee basketball received official early fall commitments from three of their four early commitments.
Wayne Chism, a 6-foot-8 power forward out of Bolivar Central High, guards Marques Johnson of Fort Wayne, Ind. and Josh Tabb of Cincinnatti all signed on the first day.
As he previously stated, forward Duke Crews of Hampton, Va., was the only commitment that failed to cement his place as a Vol.
Crews said that he plans to sign Friday at a press conference, when his parents will join him.
The Vols are still searching for a fifth signee, which could launch the class into the top 10 nationally, according to various analysts.
According to Rivals.com, Crews is the highest-rated of the quartet, listed as a five-star small forward. Chism is second-highest-rated with four stars.
“I think we’ve got a strong class,” Crews told The Tennessean. “With the type of coach that coach Pearl is, we ought to be able to win some games with the guys he’s bringing in.”