Bruce Pearl blames NCAA — not his lying — for his firing

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Bruce Pearl made the media rounds Thursday, a day after learning the NCAA imposed a three-year show cause penalty on the former Tennessee coach. The move effectively bans him from a high-major job until 2014 (though some schools might think otherwise).

And he isn’t happy about it.

“I believe I should have gotten more credit for coming forward and telling the truth,” Pearl told the Knoxville News-Sentinel. “But the damage that was done was too great.”

Pearl won’t appeal the decision. He says he takes “full responsibility” for his actions. Instead, he seems to be hoping the contrition angle will help him for future gigs. But here’s a protip: Don’t piss off the NCAA by making critical comments.

He told the paper that the NCAA’s allegation of major violations was too harsh given that the charge was eventually dismissed. (Lying got him fired and punished, not the cheating.) Even if he’s correct, this probably isn’t the way to go, Bruce.

“The timing of that charge led directly to the termination of my coaching staff,” Pearl told the paper. “Our chancellor and our athletic director went on record as saying that supposed bump violation was the beginning of the end for me.

“I waited a lifetime for a job like Tennessee … It was my hope our staff could have survived.”

Forget the NCAA. You know what would’ve helped you survive, Bruce? Not lying. And not lying some more.

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PHOTO: Ohio State’s new LeBron James shoe display

during the College Football Playoff National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium on January 12, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.
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Ohio State has capitalized on its close relationship with NBA superstar LeBron James over the years and now has a new shoe display that should come in handy during recruiting.

The Buckeyes put out a tweet late this week with the display, calling themselves “THE LeBron school.” While this is something small, recruits like that the Buckeyes are tied into the best player in the world and it’s cool to them that Ohio State gets some exclusive gear.

Rutgers hoping new duo can bring a spark

of the Ohio State Buckeyes against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during their Big Ten conference game at Rutgers Athletic Center on February 8, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey.
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Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.

With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.

“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”

Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.

While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.