Interesting choice of words from Bruce Pearl in an interview with Michael Hiestand of USA Today. Pearl talked about landing at ESPN as a basketball analyst after rules violations cost him his job at Tennessee in 2011.
“I realized I’d made a mistake that cost me my dream job,” says Pearl, recalling how he felt after being fired as Tennessee’s basketball coach in March, 2011. “I was hopeful that people would examine my career and evaluate me on my body of work on and off the court. I was hopeful for some grace, that it wouldn’t end my life in basketball. Because that’s all I’ve done for 33 years. I’m grateful to ESPN for forgiving me for my failure.”
Forgive? I don’t think that’s the right word. ESPN hired Pearl because he’s colorful and outspoken. This is about developing a potential break-through analyst, not forgiveness on ESPN’s part.
Forgiveness will have to come from coaches in his former fraternity when he does their games. I know one place where Pearl won’t be going: the Assembly Hall at the University of Illinois.
Don’t get me started.