Bruce Pearl is a great basketball coach. He’s also a cheater.
He cheated at Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
He cheated at Tennessee and got slapped with a 3-year “show cause” penalty, one of the stiffest sanctions the NCAA can levy on a coach. Tennessee fired him, but he got a lovely parting gift of $948, 728. Then during the 3 years of his “punishment” he landed a cushy job as an ESPN analyst, and then was hired by Auburn before his 3 years were even up, to the tune of $2.2 million a year. Rough life, eh?
This NBC sports article is a fascinating read, and the title says it all: “If you win, there’s always another job.”
When a coach cheats, he doesn’t really suffer. Yet if his cheating results in sanctions for the school, the players are really the ones who are punished.
Let’s hope that for every cheater like Bruce Pearl, there are 10 coaches like Providence’s Ed Cooley, who gave this fantastic speech to his team after they suffered a heartbreaking loss to potential #1 seed Villanova in the semifinals of the Big East conference tournament.