Of Pearls and Swine

It may have taken 20 years, but Bruce Pearl, alleged human being and coach of the Tennessee Volunteers basketball program, may finally get his.  The story broke late last week.  The Vols are being probed for both football and basketball recruiting violations (the SEC motto:  If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’), and Pearl made it worse by lying to NCAA investigators.  And we quote him:

I learned that it’s not OK to tell the truth most of the time, but you’ve got to tell the truth all of the time.

What is Pearl now – 60?  And he’s just now learning that lesson?  In Illinois this comes as no surprise.  We’ve known this man for a sleazy, lying, do-and-say-anything-to-get-ahead scumbag since he single-handedly scuttled Lou Henson’s hoops momentum in the early 90s over the recruitment of Deon Thomas.  Yet you won’t find any mention of Pearl’s involvement in that travesty with the above-linked ESPN news story, and Michael Rosenberg, college basketball writer for Sports Illustrate apparently needs to brush up on his history as well (referring to Pearl as a heroic whistle blower?  Ugh.  Get your facts right before going to press…)

Fortunately, the venerable one, Loren Tate checked in to review the situation over at IlliniHQ, and where you can also find a link to an earlier story written when Pearl’s UW-Milwaukee and Jimmy Collins’ UIC Flames faced off in the Horizon League.  Tate covered the whole affair exhaustively at the time and still feels Illinois got the shaft, and that Pearl was a true villain who lied and cheated to damage Henson’s basketball program.  At Beemsville, we couldn’t agree more.  We look forward to the eventual NCAA sanctions with some satisfaction.

Meanwhile, Lou and Jimmy Collins have both retired, and Deon Thomas has embarked on his own coaching career (at DII Lewis and Clark College, perhaps on the Orange & Blue staff in the future?).  No doubt they all shared a smile last week.  It’s only too bad Pearls has parlayed this into millions of dollars for himself.  With any luck this is the beginning of the end of his coaching career.


One thought on “Of Pearls and Swine

  1. Well The Rube still isn’t happy. With all thats going on in NCAA athletics for a guy to out and out lie for 17 months and it take that long for the NCAA to deliver the letter to him that causes him to tear up and make his confession is absolute horse hockey! Here’s the real travesty, Lou Henson by most accounts should be in the hall of fame and by all accounts is one of the nicest and most gracious men to ever carry a clip board! Tremendous ball clubs….theres a Henson quote for you even with his arch nemesis Rowdy Bobby Knight! Don’t kid yourself Bruce Pearl Necklaces audio tape editing skills as well as his general underhanded and devious nature are what has caused Lou-Do to not be in the hall as of yet. The Rube is ready to start a grass roots campaign that is two fold. One to get Henson into the hall before he passes away…the other is to crusify Bruce Pearl and torture him into confessing about his crimes 20 years ago!

    All that said The Rube had the good fortune to attend and work at the Illini Rebounders Lou Henson Golf Outing yesterday. It is a bit ironic and not lost on The Rube that Coach Henson wasn’t there for the first time in a couple years. The Rube would’ve walked up t Coach Henson, camera in hand given Lou a Big Ol’ Hug and said “hey…..Man…..good on you…..I mean……really Man…….” or something to that effect! The Rube did get a chance to talk with Lou and Mary’s neighbors in Champaign and was informed that Lou was happy, but that if you wanted to get any “real” comments about that situation you’d have to talk to Mary. Lou’s too classy (not that Mary isn’t), but Mary speaks her mind a bit more and has for much of Lou’s career saying things he couldn’t or wouldn’t say, but that the two of them probably discussed in private! The Rube also talked to one of Lou’s long time office personnell who told The Rube she has a file Coaches Henson and Collins gave to her 20 years ago labeled “Bruce Pearl/Deon Thomas,” that she was reading over the night before she said coach told her to “take it home and put it in your filing cabinet.” Boy would The Rube love to get a look at that thing!

    The NCAA is picking up enforcment or at least appearing to. They have some things going now against UConn, Kentucky, Tennessee, USC, Memphis and a slew of other programs…..now we’ll see if they’ll follow through and do something. All they really have to do is what they did to us in the 90’s. As the enforcement committe put it out in public then with the Illini, “just because we couldn’t prove anything doesn’t mean they (Illinois) didn’t do anything.” Lack of institutional control was the rap, one year post season ban….and possibly a lifetime ban for one Coach Lou Henson from the College Basketball Hall of Fame….all because one little Pearl lied….again……

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