Bruce Pearl hired as head coach at Auburn

Bruce-Pearl-Calls-Lane-Kiffin-a-DumbassBruce Pearl is eligible to return to the NCAA this August. The former Tennessee men’s basketball coach was fired in 2011 amid several allegations of recruiting violations and was banned from collegiate athletics for three years. When he returns this summer, it will be to coach the Auburn Tigers.

As Gary Parrish of CBS Sports first reported on Tuesday, Pearl has reached an agreement with Auburn.

“I’m humbled and blessed to be back in the game that I love,” Pearl said. “I don’t know how long it will take, but it’s time to rebuild the Auburn basketball program, and bring it to a level of excellence so many of the other teams on campus enjoy.”

Former head coach Tony Barbree was recently fired after four seasons with the Tigers. Auburn has not appeared in the NCAA Tournament since 2003, and the school has never reached a Final Four.

Pearl spent six seasons as head coach at Tennessee and brought the Vols to the NCAA Tournament each year. As Parrish noted, Pearl could not have described Auburn any better back in August when asked about his impending return to coaching.

“It’s going to need to be somebody that has the vision that Tennessee had,” he said at the time. “Tennessee had a vision to try to get its men’s basketball program to the level of its football program and where Pat Summitt had the women’s basketball program. That was Tennessee’s vision. They said, ‘We’re winning in everything else. We want to do it in men’s basketball, too.'”

“So that would be the job I’d want — a job where somebody has that vision. It would almost need to be a school that’s won a national championship in football or baseball. Somebody who’s done it and wants to try to do it again in men’s basketball.”

Auburn’s basketball team is not very good. Its football team just reached the BCS National Championship Game and is expected to be a powerhouse for years to come. Coaching the Tigers sounds like the exact job Pearl was looking for.

UCLA Commit Jordan Adams Says Ex-Tennessee Coach Bruce Pearl Sent ‘Beautiful’ Girl to Recruit Him

The hits just keep on coming for Bruce Pearl. In an interview with National Recruiting Spotlight, UCLA basketball commit Jordan Adams revealed that Pearl sent a “beautiful” girl to meet with him. We presume that the former Tennessee coach sent this girl in hopes of persuading Adams to become a Volunteer. That’s a safe assumption considering this isn’t the first time Tennessee has used an attractive girl in recruiting high school prospects.

When asked if he had any interesting stories during his recruitment, Adams responded (quote since deleted from the interview):

“Yeah, well, he’s fired now, so… we had a game and there was this girl, she was beautiful. She came up to me and started talking to me and told me she went to Tennessee. She said Bruce Pearl sent her. I kind of knew she was kind of a groupie, but she was just so beautiful I just had to talk to her… I had to talk to her, she was beautiful.”

Pearl was fired back in March for a laundry list of recruiting and coaching violations. The outspoken coach is not the only coach to bend and break NCAA rules, but for one reason or another, his transgressions were always in the spotlight. Maybe his animated style has something to do with it, or maybe it was the fact that he broke too many rules to keep hidden.

Following his termination from Tennessee, Pearl left basketball for a marketing position with H.T Hackney Co. If he chooses to come back to the sport, this isn’t going to help.

Bruce Pearl to Work in Marketing for Grocery Store Company During Exile

It appears Bruce Pearl will be taking his exile from the game of college basketball very seriously.  Rather than taking a job in some sort of sports capacity, Pearl has decided to go in a completely different direction.  The former Tennessee coach has accepted a job as vice president of marketing for H.T. Hackney Co., a wholesale company that provides products for grocery stores.

While Pearl was a marketing and economics major at Boston College and H.T. Hackney is the 82nd largest privately-held company in America, how long can this really last?  At age 51, Pearl says he took the job because it is a solid career and will allow he and his family to remain close to home.

“I worked for 33 years — my entire coaching career — to get to a place like Knoxville,” the former coach said in a statement shared by GoVolsXtra.com. “This is where my family lives, this is home. We have made life-long friends here and we are very blessed to have this opportunity.”

Pearl is a guy who can do and say whatever he wants and still somehow be loved by the media, so you know he could have broken into broadcasting if he chose.  You can say he is a disgrace to college basketball, but his shirtless, chest painted antics lead us to believe he loves the game as much as anyone else who coached at the Division 1 level.  Needless to say, I think I would have a back-up plan in place if I were in charge of hiring at H.T. Hackney.

Chest bump to The Dagger for the story.

Bruce Pearl Is a Con Man, but He Has Media Immunity from Many Commentators

Tennesse coach Bruce Pearl was fired on Monday after six successful years as the school’s basketball coach. The charismatic man ended up losing his job for committing NCAA violations and then lying about his actions to the NCAA and his school. What’s amazing is that even though he committed numerous recruiting violations — making several impermissible phone calls and visits, the fans still are heavily supporting him. They’ve staged a rally and launched a facebook campaign to show how they feel about him. What you’ll also notice is that there is very little media criticism of Pearl and that many people shift the blame towards Tennessee or AD Mike Hamilton.

There’s actually a reason for that.

Pearl is one of the most media-friendly coaches around. To the best of my knowledge, he hardly turns down interview requests, and he’s extremely friendly when he does his interviews. He answers questions, is personable with the host, and he’s generally available for comment to help reporters with their stories. It’s an unfortunate truth, but the more friendly you are the harder it is for people to criticize you, and that is exactly what’s going with Pearl.

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Tennessee Fans Wanted to Keep Bruce Pearl and Fire AD Mike Hamilton

Tennessee fired head basketball coach Bruce Pearl on Monday, a move that we heard was in the works from before the tournament began. The Vols’ 75-45 hideous loss in the first round of the tourney to Michigan made the execution much easier, as did the comments from Tobias Harris after the game saying the team had quit.

Pearl’s firing came after it was learned he had committed several NCAA violations. Though some of the violations were minor in nature, his real crime was lying to the NCAA and Tennessee’s administration about them. And just to show you how aware yet manipulative he was, it turns out Pearl was cheating less than a week after making a sobbing apology to the school.

What’s truly sad in this whole ordeal is not that Pearl was so blatantly cheating and lying to the NCAA and administration, but that the school’s fans don’t care what rules were broken or that Pearl lied to the NCAA.

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Bruce Pearl Calls Lane Kiffin A ‘Dumbass’

Bruce Pearl loves attention.  Anyone who has seen him in action knows that’s the case.  You think he really wears that loud orange suit just because he’s proud to be a Tennessee Volunteer?  That may be part of it, but the guy loves the spotlight.  Unless, of course, the spotlight comes in the form of major recruting violations and lying to NCAA investigators.

So what’s a funny guy to do when he finds himself in a sticky situation?  Thank everyone for their support, apologize, and make a funny.  Check, check, and check.  If I coached at a school with a Lane Kiffin connection, I’d probably use him, too.  Kiffin is known for things like taking jersey numbers without explanation.  He also wasted no time getting himself into hot water when he took over the USC football program.

For those reasons and more, Pearl decided to lighten the mood by taking a shot at Kiffin.  Sports by Brooks Live called our attention to Pearl’s comments, as told by Go Vols Xtra, which he made after admitting that he had embarrassed and humiliated the university.

I’ve made mistakes, I clearly did, but what I was hoping for was that some other dumbass would get on the front page and take me off the hook,” Pearl said. “I miss Lane Kiffin.”

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.  I understand he was trying to loosen up the room, but I doubt Kiffin will appreciate being called a dumbass.  On second thought, who cares what Kiffin thinks?  We certainly love it.