by Kent Sterling
Bruce Pearl broke an idiotic rule, lied about it, and encouraged others on his staff to lie to NCAA investigators. That cost him his job three days short of three years ago.
Today, Bruce Pearl’s 54th birthday, he gets the gift of another chance to do again what he does best – coach winning basketball – because Auburn University wants to win. And Pearl knows how to win.
He’s won at Southern Indiana, UW-Milwaukee, and Tennessee, and officials at Auburn know he will win there.
Pearl was arrogant, stupid, and fearful when he lied about breaking a rule that is -like many NCAA rules – ridiculous and counterproductive. I have no problem with that. Lying to the NCAA investigators was motivated by fear, and dragging his staff into the quagmire by asking them to back his story showed a temporary bankruptcy of character.
Three years have passed, and that’s enough penance for me. Interesting that I have no such forgiveness in my heart for Kelvin Sampson, a buffoon whose actions were so vile, I hope he is never a head coach again – at any level.
Pearl is going to lead the Tigers to places they have not been since Sonny Smith, and I’m good with that as long as there is no backsliding into the amoral morass of NCAA turpitude.