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Which SEC coach is pushing against Olivier Sarr’s waiver?

The decision of whether or not Olivier Sarr plays at Kentucky lies in SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey’s hands, and according to a new report, one SEC coach is trying to stop it from happening. But who?

Earlier this week, the news broke that Sarr was cleared by the NCAA a few months ago, but the SEC has to grant an additional waiver to bypass the league’s rule that student-athletes with less than two years of eligibility remaining have to sit out one year. Yesterday, Kyle Tucker tweeted that one SEC coach has been pushing against Sarr being cleared to play at Kentucky, sparking plenty of speculation.

A Sea of Blue’s Adam Haste dug up this clip from May of Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl on a radio show discussing Sarr’s transfer to Kentucky.

“I hate that, you know. When guys first take jobs or come in, maybe some of those kids are vulnerable because of this transfer situation,” Pearl said. “We worry so much about making the right decision instead of just making the decision that we make work and I can tell you that way more I’ve had kids who have thought of transferring that have stuck it out and were rewarded than I’ve had guys who have transferred and more often than not, they didn’t help themselves. Disappointed to see that.”

Hmm. Kentucky vs. Auburn has become one of the league’s most heated rivalries and John Calipari and Pearl have a frenemy vibe, so it checks out, but Auburn’s pulled in plenty of transfers over the years, so that comment comes off as pretty hypocritical (shocker). Maybe it’s Calipari’s other SEC frenemy, Tom Crean? He was a prime suspect in the mystery of which coach talked trash about Ashton Hagans to The Athletic this summer and is desperate to get things off the ground at Georgia, especially at the expense of Kentucky. This seems like just the thing he’d do.

Regardless, if you’re reading this Greg Sankey, please don’t listen to the jealous haters and clear Olivier Sarr.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

21 Comments for Which SEC coach is pushing against Olivier Sarr’s waiver?



  1. bbn606
    11:55 am September 24, 2020 Permalink

    Why not ask Dick Vitale? He seems to know what is going on.



  2. Headhurts
    12:03 pm September 24, 2020 Permalink

    Why was Sarr’s waiver kept a secret for 2 months? Cal acted like he did’nt know. So the news got out anyway. Strange.



  3. CatManDo
    12:22 pm September 24, 2020 Permalink

    If Pearl has any thought of becoming coach here (some of mentioned him as a possible Cal replacement) he better back off this one.



    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      12:31 pm September 24, 2020 Permalink

      Nah, he’s too old. He’s the same age as Cal, so when Cal retires it won’t be someone that age that replaces him. He’s a great coach, but the timing won’t be right.



  4. cllikeky
    12:22 pm September 24, 2020 Permalink

    It honestly could be multiple coaches in the SEC. Not one of them wants to help UK get better if they can help it. It shouldn’t be up to them. Commissioner needs to step up and do the right thing.



  5. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
    12:31 pm September 24, 2020 Permalink

    If we find out this is true, then my semi-fandom of Pearl is over. As for Crean, if it were ever proven that he called Ashton Hagans that, then he owes that guy, and Cal IMO, a huge apology. I would hope that he wouldn’t use that term.



  6. BigBlueFoo42777
    12:31 pm September 24, 2020 Permalink

    Tom Crean ?



  7. serdi
    12:35 pm September 24, 2020 Permalink

    Mike Pratt #22 said this morning on Tom Leach’s show that his sources say that 3 coaches in the SEC are pushing Greg “Keep the Dean E. Smith Myth Alive” Sankey to not allow the transfer.



  8. dcforuk
    1:07 pm September 24, 2020 Permalink

    What if the NCAA abolishes the rule that non-grad transfers have to sit out a year? What would and what should conferences do about their separate rules? Rules are often about helping bring some sort of viable and reasonably functional steps to the process. Actually, that is exactly why the NCAA is considering getting rid of that rule that players have to sit out a year because it is getting dysfunctional with all of the waivers they have to consider. In addition to rules being about function and viability, they can also be about fear and insecurity. Many basketball coaches (and perhaps football coaches, too) in the SEC may fear and be insecure about UK’s success in basketball. I am thankful we have a football coach that says “let’s get to work”, “coaches got to coach better”, “that’s on me” etc. Stoops is only fearful of letting fear drive his daily coaching and leadership decisions. Glad he is our football coach!



  9. runningunnin.454
    1:32 pm September 24, 2020 Permalink

    This is just preposterous; and, so is the rule holding this up. How about thinking about the student-athlete for once; WF fired his coach; he said he wanted to pick his coach, not have one picked for him.
    Why listen to rival coaches that might have to, heaven forbid, compete against the guy. Whom is this silly rule trying to protect…a university that might lose an athlete’s services? Cal doesn’t try to stop the guys that want to leave UK; he respects their decision, and tries to help them.
    Do the right thing and let Sarr play where he wants; and, I would say the same thing if the guy had wanted to play for Crean, Pearle, or Mike White, or any other SEC coach.



  10. Fitz
    2:06 pm September 24, 2020 Permalink

    What Pearl said is valid, and not necessarily an indictment against UK/Sarr situation. If players could transfer unconditional without sitting a year, then transfers would occur so often havoc would ensue. Hopefully, UK circumvented the SEC rule by having Sarr enroll in tge schools Equine Management program, which I doubt Wake Forest offers.



    • runningunnin.454
      4:51 pm September 24, 2020 Permalink

      The ncaa is on the cusp of allowing transfers without the penalty of sitting out. As for the sec, what could remaining eligibility have to do with it; let the student-athletes play where they want.
      Pearl is hardly the moral authority on amateur athletics; he has violated ncaa rules at Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Tennessee, and has had players at Auburn, Wiley and Purifoy, suspended by the school. Two Auburn assistants, Person and Bowman, under Pearl were suspended by the school, and Person was ultimately fired. Where there’s smoke there’s fire. After three seasons at Auburn, he suddenly starts recruiting top talent, yeah right.



  11. peaches76
    2:15 pm September 24, 2020 Permalink

    So are we to believe the Commissioner of the SEC is going to be influenced in this matter by coaches who have something to gain/lose depending on the ruling? Then why is he being paid a salary? (A large one at that) Don’t think Crean, Pearl, the poster child of ethics and fair play, et al will be factors in this.



    • _lilman_
      4:15 pm September 24, 2020 Permalink

      Excellent point peaches



  12. blueballs80
    2:24 pm September 24, 2020 Permalink

    It’s Will Wade.



    • ClutchCargo
      3:02 pm September 24, 2020 Permalink

      Hopefully he didn’t make a strong-ass argument against issuing a waiver.



    • UKinIN
      3:32 pm September 24, 2020 Permalink

      Nice. I see what you did there.



  13. UKinIN
    3:42 pm September 24, 2020 Permalink

    Just because Pearl gets fired from every job vs leaving for a better opportunity doesn’t mean he should take choices away from others.



  14. SuperTroy18
    3:50 pm September 24, 2020 Permalink

    If Sankey were to deny Sarr, Cal would stop clamoring for the SEC like he does every year to get teams in. Cal is a HUGE voice in college basketball. Surely, Sankey doesn’t want to get on his bad side. Cal could do so much more damage to the basketball side of the SEC than any of those other goons. And surely Sankey also knows he’d never want BBN angry with him. He knows what to do. Just a matter of having the balls to do it.



  15. Fitz
    7:12 pm September 24, 2020 Permalink

    What happens if UK tells the SEC to stuff their rule and play Sarr anyway? I doubt the Conference would forbid UK from playing it’s conference schedule. Too much money at stake. Ok, play the games but each is a firfeirt. So what? Beat the crap out of every team in the SEC and get an at large bid to the NCAA. Perhaps the only 14+ loss team to get an at large bid! F#%& the SEC! Go cats!



  16. Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
    9:28 pm September 25, 2020 Permalink

    Any coach who does this should be fired for not having faith in their school/team.