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.
I also know of at least one SEC coach who has spent some time banging the drum to the league this summer against Sarr getting that waiver. https://t.co/RcCaMayGoC
— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) September 23, 2020
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 didn’t ask Bruce Pearl about Olivier Sarr, but he heard us talking about his transfer to Kentucky while we were patching him in.
— Josh Graham (@JoshGrahamRadio) May 6, 2020
“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.