April 23rd, 2014 01:15 PM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
Tags: Auburn, Bruce Pearl, Mike Slive, SEC
Soon after landing at Auburn, basketball coach Bruce Pearl put in a phone call to SEC commissioner Mike Slive. Not a bad move since Pearl has already left one SEC school on probation (Tennessee). He also was handed an eight-game suspension by Slive and the league office during his final year in Knoxville for his transgressions.
“He called, and I thought he might…
I think Bruce has faced up to some mistakes he made publicly. We cleared the air. Assuming he does what he says he’s going to do, we’re ready to move ahead…
Bruce is an energetic guy who brings a lot of enthusiasm. He and I have had our moments. I think you are all aware. I think there is a lot of excitement that he is back in the league by the folks at Auburn.”
Not exactly a ringing endorsement, eh?
Ironically, the same Auburn fans who once wanted Slive and the SEC to slap Pearl around while he was at Tennessee are now likely wanting Slive to butt out when it comes to flamboyant coach. According to Slive, he does butt out when it comes to the hires made by league schools.
“I really try to stay out of personnel issues,” the commish said. ”If I was involved every time a coach came or left the SEC, I wouldn’t have time to do anything else. I really try to stay out of those things the best I can.”
Clearly the onus is on Pearl at this point. He’s been hired right back into the league he left. If he plays by the rules, Auburn couldn’t have made a better hire. But with his tenures at Iowa (as an assistant) and at Tennessee ending in controversy, there’s no guarantee of good behavior. Tiger AD Jay Jacobs has swung big on this one. Expect a home run or a strikeout with little room in between.
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