Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pearl bandwagon lost this blogger

Despite watching his UW-Milwaukee team knock off one of Skinner's better squads, I've been a Bruce Pearl fan since he arrived on the national scene. When Gene decided to fire Al, I openly campaigned for Pearl to get the job. He was a little more showy than most around BC would have liked, but I thought his persona and work ethic would energize BC basketball. But it was not to be (for a variety of reasons) and we made the more appropriate hire in Steve Donahue. Even when the NCAA infractions surfaced there was a part of me rationalizing Pearl. "It was only illegal calls." "He lied to NCAA investigators about a cookout." From afar I deemed it minor rule bending. No cash changed hands. No grades were changed. The violations were the type that seemed fitting with everything we know about Pearl -- hard working, aggressive, personable. With the NCAA's recent report, that's all changed.

Investigators found that Pearl kept making illegal calls after he was busted by the NCAA this summer. That is brazenly arrogant and dumb. It is one thing to push the envelope. It is another to continue to break rules after you have been caught. When the dust clears Pearl is headed for the broadcast booth. No real program will touch him for a few years. He's a winner, so after his time in purgatory he will probably get a second chance, but it won't ever be at BC...and we are better for it.



At 11:26 AM, Blogger Andrew said...

From the NY Times: "The new charge against Pearl is an alleged improper contact on Sept. 14, 2010, with Jordan Adams, who was a junior basketball player at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia. The N.C.A.A. alleges that Pearl and the assistant coach Tony Jones had a two- to three-minute conversation with Adams before an Oak Hill practice.

Coaches can make casual greetings with juniors in passing off campus, but it is against N.C.A.A. rules to converse for a period of time with a player."

I agree it's careless/stupid on Pearls behalf but I think its unfair to completely write him off. In my opinion, this does not constitute a "major violation" and is certainly not grounds to forever dismiss a coach as a potential candidate. This is the reality of coaching college bball today. Sadly, you always have to be pushing the limits if you want to compete with the big boys.

At 11:43 AM, Blogger G.A. said...

Anyone paying any attention to Pearl would have known he was sleazy from the get-go. The fact that you openly lobbied for him was embarrassing, as I wrote at the time. This isn't new information, really, just a confirmation that goes back to him being the same guy he always was.

At 1:05 PM, Blogger apbc12 said...

"A variety of reasons?"

I thought everyone agreed it was because Vinny's blog was so terrible.

At 2:23 PM, Blogger Kevin Escalera said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 8:31 PM, Blogger Michael said...

Finally !!

At 6:50 AM, Blogger BCMike said...

I still think Pearl is a hell of a hoops coach and we would have been lucky to land him.

Yes, yes, yes--I know we're BC and we love our holier than thou stance on everything--but winning solves everything. If Pearl had us going elite games every other year (or better) I'd be more than happy to let a three minute conversation outside of an AAU practice slide.

Much easier to say we're better off when we're not enjoying the level of success he's been able to bring other places...

...and besides it's not exactly like our past isn't checkered and stained anyway.

At 11:23 AM, Blogger Andrew said...

Amen BCMike.

John Calipari leaves every school he coaches with serious NCAA sanctions yet I'm pretty sure we would all jump to have him as our coach.

Everyone needs to get off their high horse. Bruce Pearl lied about some improper phone calls and text messages and then had a 3 minute conversation with a recruit he wasn't supposed to. If you think this stuff doesn't go on routinely across the country you are being naive.

Minor violations are virtually a cost of doing business these days if you want to compete for national championships on a consistent basis. What Bruce Pearl has done is not even in the same discussion as most of the big violations you hear about in the news and certainly shouldn't be used to forever write him off.

At 1:53 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

Bcmike & Andrew

Ethics matters.


Don't ever believe you need a scuzball to win. Just look at Coach Kelly if you have any doubts

At 3:55 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

mod34b- I'm not really sure what you are talking about but if you comparing college soccer to college basketball that is beyond absurd.

My apologies if you were talking about something else.

At 4:12 PM, Blogger Nick said...

So anyway, Lunardi has us as the second in the "First Four Out" group. Actually way better than I thought we'd be. Basically just can't lose for the rest of the regular season, starting at UVA tomorrow, another tougher game than people think.

At 8:00 PM, Blogger eagleboston said...

Andrew and BC Mike,

You guys don't by any chance work on Wall Street?

At 8:26 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

Oops. Scatch Kelly for York

At 8:52 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

eagleboston- haha, well played. I do not and I resent the implication.

mod34b- Good point regarding York however I still think it is not a very useful comparison. Recruiting in college basketball is far more competitive than it is in hockey. Coaches of successful programs are going to be more likely to push the limits in order to attract top recruits. Would I be ok with a coach who allows SMU/USC level cheating? (ie boosters paying recruits etc) Absolutely not. But if you actually look at what Bruce Pearl has done/been accused of it's really not very serious at all. If more comes out about Pearl I will reconsider my views but if all he has done is lied about phone calls/text and had an improper 3 minute conversation then I really don't understand this extreme backlash.


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