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Vols' Pearl quips 'I'm trying to date' Kiffin's wife; thanks Calipari for getting him 'nice raise'

Staff Report • Apr 29, 2009 at 12:00 AM

The annual Big Orange Caravan is making its way across the state, and it seems Bruce Pearl is doing his best to trump the outspoken Lane Kiffin in intriguing quotes.

According to the Tennessean, the two were showing their comedic sides in Franklin on Monday, occasionally at the other's expense.

When asked how he was getting along with the new football coach, Pearl said: "I'm trying to date his wife. But that's not working out too good."

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Pearl's fancy for Kiffin's wife, Layla, is shared by other Big Orange faithful. There's even a group on MySpace entitled, "Our Coach's Wife is Hotter Than Your Coach's Wife."

According to the moderator: "It's time we all rally around Lane Kiffin in the only way we possibly can before the next season begins. By pointing out that his wife is hotter than your coach's wife.

"Clearly this will ultimately translate to SEC Championships on the field."

CLICK HERE to check out the MySpace group.

According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, while in Memphis on Tuesday, Pearl thanked new Kentucky coach John Calipari for getting he and his staff a bump in pay.

When John Calipari went from Memphis to Kentucky, Pearl was rumored to be tops on the Memphis shopping list.

When rumors swirled, Pearl renegotiated his six-year deal, thickening wallets for him and his staff.

"I called Cal a couple of weeks after it happened and said, 'Listen, me and my staff just want to thank you because you helped us get a nice raise', " said Pearl, who was in Memphis on Tuesday as part of the annual Big Orange Caravan spring tour.

Ironically, Pearl said no one involved from the University of Memphis in charge of the coaching search contacted him directly or indirectly through his agent.But what if they would have?

"I would not (have taken the job), out of respect for Tennessee," Pearl said. "That just wasn't an option for me. Memphis is a rival, a competitor, a team on our schedule.

"I think everybody knew what could have been, but I think we (Pearl and Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton working on a contract extension) moved as quickly as possible so it never was."

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