Want to know all the gritty details from the NCAA’s smackdown on Tennessee and Bruce Pearl? Well, you’re in luck. Yesterday, govolsxtra.com posted them. And, guess what? Bruce Pearl is just as much of a sleazy, cheeto-puff stained liar as we thought he was.
Since I know all that orange and black will hurt your eyes, here are the juicy highlights:
Pearl on coming clean:
Pearl waited nearly two months before he was able to meet again with the NCAA’s enforcement staff. Thompson, accompanied by fellow investigator Kristen Matha, ran through a number of the same questions from the previous interview with Pearl, who was joined by his personal legal counsel, Steve Thompson.
Pearl came clean right from the start. He knew that the photo was snapped at his house and he knew that the woman in the background was Jana Shay.
He later explained why.
“I panicked,” Pearl said. “I wanted it to go away. It goes against a lotta things that I’ve worked for that I sorta stand for.”
Pearl said he knew what his assistants said — and didn’t say — about the photograph.
“So,” Pearl said, “I did not tell the truth.”
So, it was his assistants’ fault that he lied? Hmm.
On Pearl contacting the Craft family:
“I said, ‘Well, coach, you know, if we’re asked we will tell what is the best of our ability, you know, the recollection of what happened that afternoon, that day, that visit,’” John Craft said during an interview with Thompson. “He right away said ‘Well, John, we,’ his tone kinda changed and it was like, uh, ‘Well, we — I’ve had a discussion with my staff and,’ uh, ‘we remember the visit and we remember telling you that we were going out for an informal cookout at my house and that it was illegal for you to be there.’
“And I said, ‘Coach, if that’s your story then,’ you know, ‘we’re gonna have to.’”
Pearl said his reasons for contacting Craft were twofold. Along with his curiosity about where the photo came from, Pearl said he wanted to give Craft the “heads up” that NCAA investigators might contact him in the near future.
Pearl stressed that he was not instructing Craft to lie, but understood how others could imply the situation that way.
“Obviously,” Pearl said in a follow-up interview with the NCAA, “I made a bad decision in calling John.”
Assistant Coach Steve Forbes:
Like Jones, Forbes said that he felt he was originally honest with the investigators because he couldn’t “100 percent” tell the photo was snapped at Pearl’s home.
“I’m pretty sure I said in there you know how many pictures I’ve seen him Photoshopped in in the last three or four years, five years I’ve been here?” Forbes asked.
“No,” Thompson said, “I don’t.”
“A lot,” Forbes said. “I mean, I see him on a boat with his family, and then next time I see it the kids are cropped out and there’s three girls with bikinis on.”
Right. Because Bruce Pearl would never want to be seen on a boat with three young women in bikinis. Hahahaha.