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Need-to-Know Wednesday Casts Pearl Before Swine



Good to see you this week. How are things? Did you enjoy my witty headline? No, I didn’t know everyone else was using it. I didn’t. Well, I made it up all by myself. So lay off.

As we swim in a UK-based sea of wacky transcripts, Turkish stoicism and bust-out-able Kentucky football players, many of us may be forgetting the true reason for delight among the Commonwealth these days. While I consistently take delight in such endeavors as Louisville Hate Day and enjoy tousling the carefully-moussed hair of Duke’s perennial Ralph-Lauren-Ad-slash-basektball team, my true reservoir of vitriol remains delicately angled toward Tennessee sports (as always, a disclaimer that said vitriol does not extend to our beloved friend MaconVol). Truly it would also seem that our faux-hawked comrade Gary Parrish is similarly enjoying the downfall of the Bruce Pearl, as he doggedly chases the nails in the sweaty pariah’s coffin.

As you know, I am a world-renowned journalist with many sources at my disposal, and chat with these secret sources in the dim back rooms of supper clubs throughout our nation’s largest cities, and you will not be surprised to know that this mighty stable of stoolpigeons includes a great number of employees on the NCAA payroll, who have on many occasions slipped microcassettes into my pocket with a nudge. As such, I am in possession of certain direct transposing of such discussions between Pearl and NCAA investigators wherein his allegations of deliberately “incorrect and misleading information” given to NCAA officials comes to light. Here today, I’d like to waste ten minutes of your life as I present you with a few of those choice moments from the past few months of Pearl’s Tennessee career.


November 6, 2009
(phone call)

NCAA: Bruce, we’ve had some tips that you may have been operating outside of NCAA regulations. Do you know anything about this?
Pearl: What? I can’t hear you. It’s very loud here.
NCAA: Improper recruiting. We wanted to talk to you about improper recruiting.
Pearl: I’m going into a tunnel. I think I’m going to lose-


January 12, 2010
(excerpt from a phone call from Pearl to the NCAA head office)

NCAA: Good morning. Thank you for calling NCAA Headquarters.
Pearl: Hi Aaron, I just bought a case of Mountain Dew and Red Dead Redemption, want to come over?
NCAA: Who is this? Is this Bruce Pearl?
Pearl: (flustered) Err…no…this is…the phone company. [expletive deleted], wrong number.


March 2, 2010
(from a visit by NCAA officials to Tennessee)

NCAA: Did you spend 94 minutes on a phone call to a recruit’s home?
Pearl: No, I didn’t.
NCAA: This phone record says that’s exactly what you did.
Pearl: My cat steps on my phone a lot.


April 4, 2010
(NCAA visit to Tennessee)

NCAA: Have you hosted recruits at your house?
Pearl: No.
NCAA: Who’s this then, in this picture?
Pearl: That? That’s Josh…Felby.
NCAA: Josh Selby?
Pearl: …Josh Felby.


April 12, 2010
(excerpt from phone call from NCAA to Pearl)

Pearl: How are you, Jim?
NCAA: Doing great, Bruce. Say, I just read Atlas Shrugged. Have you read it?
Pearl: Yes, I have.
NCAA: What was your favorite part?
Pearl: I liked…all of it. I didn’t have a favorite part.


May 1, 2010
(NCAA visit to Tennessee)

NCAA: We’re going to ask you point blank: did you at any time make impermissable phone calls?
Pearl: I don’t have a phone.
NCAA: What’s this? (pointing to phone)
Pearl: It’s a candy phone. It’s a phone filled with candy.
NCAA: Where’s the candy?
Pearl: I ate it all.


May 9, 2010
(NCAA visit to Tennessee)

NCAA: Bruce, is this your profile picture?
Pearl: Yes.
NCAA: This man looks to weigh about one-hundred pounds less than you.
Pearl: It’s me.
NCAA: It also appears to be a photo of a very handsome, shirtless Asian man.
Pearl: I had just woken up.


May 21, 2010
(excerpt from a conversation between NCAA officials and Pearl just before a Tennessee Sports awards banquet)

NCAA: Do I look fat in this?
Pearl: No, you look good.
NCAA: Really?
Pearl: Really.
NCAA: Karen at work said I look like I’m gaining weight.
Pearl: Well, Karen’s wrong. You’re perfect.

Article written by C.M. Tomlin