In an interview with ESPN earlier today, our favorite homeboy, Bruce Pearl, said he doesn’t expect any further punishment for his recruiting violations last season. Pearl claims that actions taken by Tennessee and the SEC (a $1.5 million fine, recruiting ban; 8-game suspension) should prove to the NCAA that he takes his mistakes seriously and is already learning from them. So, really, punishing Pearl further would be a waste of the NCAA’s time, right?
Uh, wrong. We all know how fickle the NCAA can be, and in Pearl’s case, expect a harsh ruling. If Pearl could pull off the repenting school boy act, then maybe I wouldn’t roll my eyes while reading this article. But, Bruce Pearl is as smarmy as they come. For instance, don’t sit there and say how sorry you are and how your school and the SEC have handed down punishments so fair that the NCAA shouldn’t bother and then the next minute talk about how little those punishments really matter:
Pearl said he would coach in a nonconference game at Connecticut on Jan. 22 and saw no reason why that would be bizarre to be suspended, coach for a game, and then be suspended again. Why? Well, he said the game-day suspension only prevents him coaching the team the two hours prior to tipoff, the game, and then one-hour after the game.
“I’ll be calling all the plays, preparing the game plans, getting everything set,” Pearl said. “Tony will just execute it. Commissioner Slive didn’t include the Connecticut game because that’s not where his authority lies. I’ll be traveling with the team. I’ll be like the injured point guard. The rest of the team just steps up and takes over.”
I think those tanning bed rays are getting to you, Bruce. What a great way to kick off my own personal Tennessee hate week.