I was thrilled when Tennessee hired Bruce Pearl as head Men's Basketball Coach in 2005, but I was very much aware then of his baggage with the NCAA. Pearl isn't worth the long-term risk to the program:
Many Vols fans aren't happy about the prospect of losing a coach who has led the men's basketball team to unheard-of levels of success. One close friend of mine remarked that Bruce Pearl could be fired over meeting a player at a barbecue, but that Ohio State football Coach Jim Tressel should be fired after Tressel admitted having knowledge that several of his players sold championship rings and other memorabilia to a local tattoo parlor in exchange for tattoos. Tressel didn't condone the players' actions, but in having knowledge of these clear rules violations but failing to report them, Tressel himself violated the rules. Tressel will serve the same five-game suspension that his players will be forced to serve. He was to have received a much lighter two-game ban, but the punishment was increased to five games at Tressel's request. In the grand scheme of sometimes arcane NCAA rules, Tressel's offenses were no worse than Pearl's, and if Tressel deserves to be fired, should not the same standard apply to Bruce Pearl?
Labels: Conservatism, Sports, Tennessee politics