To call Tennessee defensive end James Pearce’s recent run in with the law “troublesome” would be a massive understatement given the current college football backdrop, as well as his response to being pulled over by police for a relatively minor traffic incident.
Pearce was pulled over Monday morning at 8:20 when he was clocked driving 63 mph in a 35 mph zone on Western Avenue in a 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Police said the vehicle had expired temporary tags and Pearce was unable to provide identification or proof of insurance, per The Knoxville News Sentinel. Then, things got worse.
Pearce, according to police, refused to follow instructions on multiple occasions during the traffic stop. First, he didn’t immediately turn his vehicle off and exit the car. Then, he was asked to stand by while his car was to be searched and eventually towed, but Pearce reportedly disregarded those instructions and walked toward the vehicle.
Pearce was charged with speeding, driving on suspended license, failure to present insurance, registration improperly displayed and improper window tinting. Tennessee, through a spokesman, said they are aware of the incident.
That’s not the first time the Vols have been caught by the police for a traffic stop.
Tennessee defensive back Doneiko Slaughter was cited for misdemeanour traffic violations after he was pulled over near campus following the Vols’ 38-10 loss to Georgia. Slaughter was cited for reckless driving when he crossed a roadway divider by an officer who claimed the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed, which caused the rear wheels to spin and lose traction while on the wrong side of the road.
A traffic stop was initiated on Cumberland Avenue around 1 a.m. The officer wrote in the citation narrative that the vehicle was traveling at high speed, causing the rear wheels to spin and lose traction while on the wrong side of the road.
In a separate incident, Tennessee running back DeSean Bishop was charged with reckless driving on Oct. 29 shortly after 1:15 am.
The Vols certainly don’t want to follow the lead of their SEC East rivals. Georgia football players have been involved in at least 10 reports of traffic-related, moving violations in Athens since Jan. 15, when a player and team staff member were killed in a reckless driving incident allegedly tied to racing, according to records obtained by ESPN.