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.
The 6-foot, 160-pound Vilarino, who led the Lions with 19.5 points a game as point guard, weighed the style of play Kentucky will move to under new coach John Calipari, who had been 252-69 in nine seasons at Memphis.
Calipari comes to Kentucky with all the right credentials. Calipari was the Naismith coach of the year last season. Calipari and Duke's Mike Krzyzewski are the only coaches to be named the winner twice since the award's inception in 1987.
Vilarino has decided to leave Kentucky.
Vilarino had originally committed to Kentucky and coach Gillispie two years ago. Gillispie (40-27) was fired after two seasons. Kentucky missed the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1991.
Vilarino will play instead for Spokane (Wash.)-based Gonzaga, which has moved up from a Cinderella March Madness team to a regular in the Top 25 and NCAA playoffs.