by Jon Jaques / @JJaques25
Either Bruce Pearl is delusional or a fighter. For all his sins, I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and say it’s the latter. In a radio interview on 790 Atlanta, Pearl stated publicly for the first time since his embarrassing dismissal from Tennessee that he believes he will coach again one day.
Among many interesting points made by the ostracized coach was his admission that he has screwed up a great situation.
“Do you want me to write the book about how do you lose $10 million jobs? I can write the book,” Pearl said. “How can you be so dumb and so careless? … It’s not so much about what we did, it’s about how we handled it.”
Sounds about right. Lying once to the NCAA, which has shown a zero tolerance policy towards scandal cover-ups (sound familiar, Jim Tressel?) recently, is bad enough. But Pearl fibbed twice to the higher ups. Whenever the NCAA finishes reviewing the case, there will be a suspension (and probably a significant one) imposed on Pearl.
That begs the question of whether any AD will take a chance on Pearl, a proven winner on the court but a dicier proposition off of it.
In short, yes … someone will bite once his suspension is handed down and served. Pearl has been way too successful at each of his previous destinations on the college coaching map to be ignored for long. Not only did his charisma and joviality execute the demanding task of making basketball relevant on Rocky Top, but he turned the program into a borderline powerhouse. The Vols advanced to two Sweet Sixteens and one Elite Eight, made the Tournament every season, and reached the program’s first ever number 1 ranking in 2008 with Pearl as coach.
It won’t be anytime soon, but you can bet we haven’t seen the last of Bruce Pearl sweating through a brightly colored blazer on a college sideline.