For those of you that don’t know, some 20 years ago Bruce Pearl took it upon himself to record a phone call with a recruit in which the recruit, who had recently committed to Illinois over Pearl’s Iowa, admitted to being promised a car and other benefits from Illinois assistant Jimmy Collins. Pearl turned the tape over to the NCAA, and though the investigation didn’t yield proof of Pearl’s allegations, it did end up turning the Illini program on its head. Since then Pearl has repeatedly said that he’d do it again because it was the right thing, even though his tattletale session got him essentially black-balled by coaches and exiled to D-II for ten years.
Well, Collins recently spoke on the Tennessee situation, and it seems that his sympathy for Pearl’s recent NCAA misgivings must have fallen between the seats in his car or been otherwise misplaced, because it certainly didn’t show up during the interview. Some of the best quotes from the one guy probably laughing the hardest at Pearl’s misfortune:
“What goes around comes around”
“Bruce was holier than thou,” Collins said. “I knew Bruce and had talked to people about Bruce. Everyone knew what he was about.”
“Now that Bruce got caught doing what he was probably doing all the time, he thinks it’s OK to say, “I made a mistake.”
“It rings in my mind what he said back then. He said, “If I had to do it again, yes, I would do it again.’ The persona he tries to portray is that he’s Honest John.
“If I sound a little angry, I’m not angry anymore. God has taken care of that for me. But for me to say, well, I’m going to take the high road and say I feel bad for Bruce, my nose would start growing like Pinocchio.”
Well, at least one person in this situation doesn’t have a problem telling the truth the first time around. And, just like when poor, pitiful Brucie got all misty-eyed at having to admit that he broke rules and then lied about it, the truth is hilarious. Now, I’m not usually one for schadenfraude. But in this case Pearl, who has purported to be some kind of light to look upon in terms of doing things the right way, crying because he got his hand caught in the cookie jar cracks me up to no end. Maybe that makes me a jerk. But maybe if Tennessee didn’t represent everything that is low down, dirty and snitchified, I wouldn’t have to be. See, this is your fault, too, Brucie.