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Bruce Pearl: Welcome Back?

I said in January that I missed Bruce Pearl.  I still do.  The Tennessee games just weren’t the same with Cuonzo Martin on the bench.  As annoying, abrasive, and unabashedly corny as Pearl was, he was good for the SEC up until, you know, he lied to everybody about everything.

If Bruce Pearl is nothing else, he’s entertaining.  Sometimes in a genuine, interesting way; other times in a train-wreck, Jersey Shore, I-want-to-look-away-but-can’t fashion.  But he was always his big, goofy self, and that personality gave UT something to rally behind.  I’m glad they lost to us almost all the time, but still, it was good for them to have that figurehead.  Now that he’s headed to ESPN, I think he might have found a job that lets that personality take center stage, and I actually think he’ll be pretty good at it.

But as he starts this next part of his career, I want to let him know that if there’s one thing I want to see again in Rupp, it’s that stupid orange jacket.  To be clear, I think that jacket looks terrible.  It’s tacky, ostentatious, and generally just looks awful.  But I always appreciated that he wore it against Kentucky, because it set us apart.  If you’ve forgotten, Pearl would break out the monstrosity only against UK and Vanderbilt.  Vanderbilt, of course, because they’re the in-state rivals.  Makes sense.  But why did Kentucky merit the “jacket treatment”?  Well, because we’re Kentucky.

In accordance with Calipari’s claims that his team “gets everyone’s best shot,” the orange jacket always signified that the Kentucky game meant more to Tennessee than other games.  It was a tangible reminder that the Wildcats are never just “another game” on the schedule.  The coaches knew it, the players knew it, and the puke-inside-the-pumpkin orange jacket showcased it.

So in addition to bringing whatever basketball insight he’s retained after working with the grocery store, I hope Bruce brings just a small part of his wardrobe ESPN.  I don’t want to see it all the time; I might punch my TV screen if he wore it for every game.  But if you’re reading this, Pearl, know that at least one person thinks it’d be okay to throw on for the Kentucky game.  You know, for old time’s sake.  As Matt pointed out in the night post, two guys that Kentucky fans have (rightfully) hated for years are now starting to come back around.  Christian Laettner’s participation in the Legends/Villains game was nothing but good sportsmanship, and the Anthony Davis foot stomp picture was hilarious (even though Anthony Davis wasn’t even born when that happened).  And now Bruce Pearl has the opportunity to be a part of college basketball again, this time as a personality instead of a coach.  In spite of their former rivalry, I think he’ll be the first to praise the things Calipari and Kentucky have accomplished; those grudges, if they ever existed between them, are probably gone.  So, welcome back to the NCAA Bruce Pearl.  I’ve missed you, big dog.

PS. Those of you who still hate Bruce Pearl, keep in mind that it could be worse.  Could be bobby knight.

Article written by Corey Nichols

23 Comments for Bruce Pearl: Welcome Back?



  1. tom
    9:03 am July 31, 2012 Permalink

    How many times are we going to read about Bruce Pearl on a UK website? Once yesterday was OK…it was news. Then Jones goes into it last night, now its here again. C’mon, let’s use a little creative juice and TRY to come up with an original idea.



  2. burger
    9:07 am July 31, 2012 Permalink

    I flushed a turd about an hour ago that had more presence than this article.

    Go immediately to the exit and never look back Corey. Call it freedom.



  3. KYeffect
    9:16 am July 31, 2012 Permalink

    jesus, people. one of the great things about college basketball is the collection of characters that are involved. Whether you love or hate him (or anyone else), he’s part of the game and is a good story to follow. I hate TN a lot but he has personality. Loved rooting against him and even swearing at him…

    Laettner is another story though.



  4. Orange Jacket
    9:31 am July 31, 2012 Permalink

    Pearl would wear the orange jacket in the Vandy games as well.



  5. Robbie
    9:33 am July 31, 2012 Permalink

    I can’t wait for football or basketball to start back. I miss the time when KSR had something interesting to talk about…sigh



  6. Reality
    9:33 am July 31, 2012 Permalink

    ^^^^ this guy, is a skimmer



  7. UKIT
    9:36 am July 31, 2012 Permalink

    No doubt, there should be a ksr2 site. It can have all the uofl, pitino, pearl, laettner, and matts duke days info ya want. Let’s leave ksr for football, baseball, joker, fooball, cheerleading, oh wait…

    If we’re gonna recycle crappy stories 50 times, let’s at least make them UK basketball related.



  8. #4 is blind
    9:39 am July 31, 2012 Permalink

    #4- did you even bother to read the article or not. He clearly states he did this against Vandy.



  9. Bluemister
    9:45 am July 31, 2012 Permalink

    Corey, do you really think Pearl is going to wear that stupid orange jacket on ESPN? He got fired from there. Why would he wear something that reminds everybody he got fired for cheating and then lying about it when he was caught? I wonder if you ever give your posts a second thought or are you just trying to fill space?



  10. craig's kid
    9:54 am July 31, 2012 Permalink

    I wish the a__hole who bashes this site repeatedly on every post would drop off the face of the earth.



  11. Rockfield, KY
    9:56 am July 31, 2012 Permalink

    9. Don’t get it twisted, Pearly loves UT and UT still loves Pearl. That being said, I doubt he’ll wear the orange jacket on TV unless he thinks there is a personal benefit it in for him. I bet he’ll be back coaching at UT once his show cause is up.



  12. the Big Dog
    10:18 am July 31, 2012 Permalink

    First, don’t get me wrong- I hate TN as much as the next person. However, Pearl has a great sense of humor and he has a very close relationship with Cal. When Pearl was first placed on probation, Cal had him courtside at Rupp when everyone else had forgotten his name. I think he will not forget that.



  13. TheDude
    10:24 am July 31, 2012 Permalink

    I wonder how long it will be before they find out Pearl cheated on an expense report.



  14. Smyrna_Cat
    10:26 am July 31, 2012 Permalink

    No orange jacket.



  15. Dee
    10:37 am July 31, 2012 Permalink

    I’ve always loved Bruce Pearl….he was great for the game…glad to see him back….



  16. Paul
    11:04 am July 31, 2012 Permalink

    Oh Boy, Here we go again. Tell you what we should do KSR posters, let’s all get together and build a shrine for the old sweaty one. My goodness when will the Pearl obsession end? Pearl being entertaining is like calling Pitino a great husband. Please report the news,you guys do a fine job on that, but dont say silly things like it’s good to have the Orange Fool back. Thanks a lot.



  17. 15 seconds of fame
    11:07 am July 31, 2012 Permalink

    #10 – Free country, homie! Or are you one of them there democrats that wants to take away everyones rights – so the government will have to provide everything for us.

    Ps, Craig ain’t proud of you.



  18. BravoBigBlue
    11:56 am July 31, 2012 Permalink

    Bruce Pearl is a gimmick, a side show. Kinda like Hal Mumme. Cuonzo Martin is a REAL COACH. His players actually play defense. Some of these KSR people are eat up with Bruce Pearl, Louisville, Duke, and on and on. Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anyone really care?



  19. Checks Pool Room
    12:04 pm July 31, 2012 Permalink

    Good grief ! Please get off Pearls nut sack.I agree with#1



  20. VolsFan
    12:07 pm July 31, 2012 Permalink

    Steven Pearl has one more year of eligibility. You guys can have him. Love puddles from Knoxville.



  21. VolsFan
    12:08 pm July 31, 2012 Permalink

    Once Pearl is back in Knoxville, Cal will poop bricks on the way down I-75. And, the way back.



  22. RoadkillJohn
    12:58 pm July 31, 2012 Permalink

    The first time Pearl says something good about Kentucky,fellow ESPNer Bob Knight will be all over him, reminding him of his recent past.



  23. Well Played
    3:10 pm July 31, 2012 Permalink

    I love how you didn’t capitalize bobby knight. Well played sir, +1.