Friday, September 10, 2010

Hindsight is 20/20: Did BC dodge a bullet on Bruce Pearl?


Image courtesy of Vinny's temporary Pearl blog from last spring.


Since he arrived on the national scene, I've been a big Bruce Pearl fan. Part of me hoped that he would one day come back to Heights to coach BC basketball. Even though I knew it was a long shot, when the BC job opened up this spring, I prayed that a miracle would happen and Pearl would return to his Alma mater. We are lucky he didn't.


Tennessee has just self-imposed sanctions on Pearl and his staff for recruiting violations and lying to the NCAA. Although the staff and coach have fallen on the sword and cut Pearl's salary, the NCAA can impose additional sanctions too. It is going to be messy for Pearl for a while and he will have the cheater tag for the rest of his career. If he had come to BC, the sanctions wouldn't have followed him, but the black cloud would have. BC would have been in a situation similar to when Kelvin Sampson coached Indiana while his old school suffered for his misdeeds.


Instead we now have Steve Donahue and his squeaky clean image. He's not as charismatic as Pearl, but Donahue has the chance to build a program the right way. And doing it the right way is probably healthier than any emotional shot in the arm that Pearl might have provided.


I guess my biggest disappointment in all of this is losing faith in Pearl. I knew he wasn't great at keeping his kids out of trouble, but assumed that as a former whistle blower he would at least play by the rules. Now he is just another shady coach of a big-time program.


Pearl served his career penance for being a whistle blower. Maybe now this experience will be another humbling lesson and chance to rebuild. I will be rooting for him, but will never pine for him to return to BC as a coach and basketball savior.

19 comments:

Coast said...

Does it count as dodging a bullet if there was little-to-no chance of that bullet heading toward you in the first place?

If so, BC also dodged Reggie Bush, Maurice Clarett, and anyone coming out of the U.

Danny Boy said...

Bill, I shared your enthusiasm for Pearl and would have LOVED to have him back at the heights. Like you, I was saddened by the discovery and a little relieved that it wasn't made while he was the coach at BC.

However, to play devil's advocate, how much of this could have been the culture at Tennessee? Based on their legacy, it has been clear that winning comes first and everything else comes in a distant 4th place. The football team is being investigated for the short year that Kiffin was there, there have ALWAYS been disciplinary troubles (see: Fulmer Cup). The AD very well could have put this pressure on Pearl, either overtly, or more subtly. Either way, Pearl read the writing on the wall and did what was "necessary" to meet the demands of his employer.

I'm saddened to hear the news, and a little disillusioned by Pearl (and maybe giving him too much of the benefit of the doubt). But its not like he was the lone gunman at a university with an otherwise pristine record.

Dustbowl said...

No in game comment???.

Bravesbill said...

Sad, sad play by BC so far.

Dustbowl said...

I agree

Bravesbill said...

Time to pull Shinskie. 3 quarters in a row of junk against crap schools.

mod34b said...

OL play is shocking

BCNorCal07 said...

For lack of a GDT, guess I'll have to post here. Shinskie looked great on his first pass but definitely has the yips (and bad). Consequently the offense is really sputtering. I don't know what the solution is there beyond improved QB play.

The defense is playing well so far, but missed Herzlich on that last possession.

Really wished they would've recovered that muffed punt (or Albright had gotten that second pick)! Also, Pam Ward, ugh.

BCNorCal07 said...

Also, the VTech loss is shocking. Wow.

Monster hit by Mark!

Bravesbill said...

This could be a disastrous week for the ACC. GA Tech losing to Kansas, Va Tech losing, Miami and FSU could both lose. And heck, the way BC is playing now, they could just as easily lose as well.

mmason said...

THIS IS TORTURE (to watch).

BCNorCal07 said...

Yes, bad week for the conference so far. VT loses to a FCS school. GT loses to a Kansas team that lost to a FCS school. Thankfully Miami is playing well so far.

blockparty said...

where can i watch this game online?

Bravesbill said...

This is some piss poor play calling as well on both sides of the ball. Open the game up!

BCNorCal07 said...

Another bad series for Shinskie. Does not look comfortable at all. Even that WR screen was a bad throw as the WR (couldn't see who it was) had to stop and leap to make the catch, totally disrupting the timing of the play.

ATL_eagle said...

Ingame comments is up now. Not sure what happened when I tried to post it earlier. Sorry.

Bill

mmason said...

It's like watching the bad football version of Groundhog Day, without the gags and in slow motion with the added attractions of penalties and banal voice-over commentary.

BCNorCal07 said...

Don't worry about it Bill!

Goberry said...

Hopefully Spaz will leave Gary Tranquill in the locker room at halftime. I haven't seen playcalling this pisspoor since Boston College, 2009.