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rams80

Bruce Pearl's in trouble with the NCAA

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So did Pearl make up the Thomas story back in the day, or was it just that it couldn't be proven? Unless I'm missing something, the quoted portion of the story posted in the first post doesn't really indicate that Pearl was guilty of anything regarding the Thomas incident, merely that he violated some kind of code by ratting out one of his peers. What am I missing?

Well the violating the code shouldn't be shrugged at first off. He didn't simply rat on anyone, he was pissed he lost a recruiting battle and secretly taped a conversation with said recruit to try and get revenge. The tape potentially implied violations might have occurred. In other words it was enough to investigate. The NCAA did and they found NOTHING (in regards to those accusations). It was a dirty scum move on Pearl's part.

By saying that he's scum for violating the code, you are effectively saying that if you know someone is cheating or breaking the rules, you shouldn't say anything, even if that cheating has a direct impact on your ability to succeed (and even maybe keep) your job. IF (and I've never even heard of this guy until this thread becaue I really don't follow college basketball much) his transcript did incriminate Thomas / UI and the NCAA ruled that something bad happened, would he still be scum? My guess is that if it was the other way around, UI fans be calling Pearl the scum for cheating, not the UI coach for calling him out.

You're not reading the context of my post. Pearl is scum for how he handled the situation. To secretly record telephone conversations and try and force out incriminating answers is what makes him scum. If he has a pretty solid hunch something happened, report it to the NCAA, report what he knows, and let the NCAA go about getting the rest of the details. The way he took on the situation was dirty.

OK, I'm with you.

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On the other hand, Illinois played the same "game" as Michigan did in 1991 in hiring Perry Watson (Jalen Rose's HS coach) when they hired Wayne McClain (dad of former Illini player Sergio McClain and former Peoria Manual HC). Don't forget the issues with Marcus Liberty as well.

That's not really a fair comparison. Wayne McClain was hired because he was a damn good HS basketball coach in a talent rich area in the state. I have no doubt the Illini had recruiting in mind, but it was a lot broader vision than just getting Sergio McClain in the fold. They knew Wayne offered coaching experience and an in to the entire Peoria region.

Also, Watson spent how many years at Michigan? 1991-1993. What about Wayne McClain? Yes, he's still coaching here now in his 10th season and has survived two head coaching changes.

Now that said, I'm not saying the Illini have a sparkling past, because clearly they don't. They've had some problems throughout the years, but for the last 10-15, things seem to be very clean (although I don't trust Bill Self with KU, so who knows what he did here). I do know that our athletic dept., headed by AD Ron Guenther goes above and beyond with compliance regulations. Ron Guenther gets a lot of negative reviews, but everyone commends him for cleaning up and keeping clean the DIA. And Bruce Weber? I don't think he even knows how to cheat. But now I'm being overly defensive since you didn't say anything about him or recent years even, so I'll just shut up.

like Perry Watson. Wayne McClain staying proves that he is not that good a coach and is/was used for the player (Sergio) only, then as an attempt to lead recruiting within the inner cities. If he was that good, he would have been hired by Bradley or any other school. Instead, Sergio got a JuCo job in Campaign at Parkland and has left that.

If many of us lied as Pearl did, we would have been fired. Even HP CEO Mark Hurd resigned after doing much less for a company which is bigger than the UT system. Granted, Hurd had a sexual tryst with it, but he was far more important than Pearl, and knew that a lie is a lie (and Pearl lied to his version of the SEC or FCC) and needed to leave.

STL FANATIC- I have my M.S. from Illinois (2000), but I never blindly followed them or other teams due to location or academic association.

Hi, Peorian here. There has been exactly one time that the Bradley job was open since McClain left Manual. Jim Molinari was fired following the 2002 season, and was replaced by Bradley Basketball LegendTM Jim Les. After the Sweet 16 run, it's rather difficult for the University to justify a contract buyout, regardless of how good or poor a coach he actually is (his teams get inordinately lucky at times). The only other remotely local (Division I) colleges are Western Illinois and Illinois State. I'd also like to point out that Illinois hired Wayne McClain AFTER Sergio graduated. Kind of a strange recruiting quid pro quo, huh?

Illinois does like to recruit the Peoria area, however, and having somebody on staff who is liked and respected in the area helps.

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Wayne McClain, wasn't he somehow involved in the time Jamar Smith left his teammate for dead in a crashed car to go play X-Box?

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Wayne McClain, wasn't he somehow involved in the time Jamar Smith left his teammate for dead in a crashed car to go play X-Box?

Probably.

I should also add that for whatever reason, Peoria Manual players appear to have been the only ones to work out for Illinois as of late. Peoria Richwoods, Notre Dame, Woodruff (RIP), and Central Peoria High School have all been varying degrees of epic fail.

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Wayne McClain, wasn't he somehow involved in the time Jamar Smith left his teammate for dead in a crashed car to go play X-Box?

Um. How so?

I don't think so other than he was an Illinois coach and had a part in the aftermath of the situation. The incident itself was the players being stupid themselves.

Also, it's just ignorant and not particularly funny to claim he left his teammate for dead to play X-Box.

He didn't leave him for dead as in leaving him to die, he left him because he thought he WAS dead. And he didn't go to play X-box, he went to go freakout in his apartment because he thought he killed his best friend. It was all stupid, a series of stupid decisions that night made because he was under the influence. There's a lot of legitimate criticisms of Jamar for that night (and the problem it exposed), so there's no need to make up details like that.

Back to the original point, I really don't think McClain had a role in the incident.

Dfwabel,

I have no issues with what you've said re:Illinois, I just think you have the Wayne McClain thing all wrong. Rams80 makes perhaps the best point--Sergio was already here when Wayne was hired. He's also a bit older than your typical head coaching hire--most schools hire young flashy guy, especially if they're hiring a coach who has no prior experience. There's never been a good fit for Wayne as a head coach anywhere. And honestly, I'm not sure it's a desire of his to leave.

Now, maybe they did hire him more for his recruiting touch than his coaching abilities, but there's nothing slimy about that. It's slimy to hire a specific guy for a specific recruit. But to hire a guy you think can be a successful recruiter in certain areas for a long-time. That seems kind of like the idea to me.

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Dear Tennessee,

TOLD YA!!!

Signed,

Milwaukee

P.S. Can we have him back now?

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All the Illinois schadenfreude aside (and you guys really need to get the :censored: over it), how in the hell does Bruce Pearl still have his job? Seriously, I know Tennessee doesn't have a sterling reputation when it comes to playing by the rules (down in SEC land, if you ain't cheating, you ain't tryin'), but this is some bullshiff.

And NCAA, what the :censored: are YOU doing? You told Dez Bryant to go away for the vast majority of the season for lying, right? What you have for Bruce Pearl had better make more than a damn ripple in the pond.

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Always felt the Illini's grudge against Bruce Pearl was childish and misplaced, even by the retarded standards of college sports fandom.

Eh. You have an apparent grudge against the generally shared thinking of the state school.

Welp, you've hemmed me in on this one, guess I have to step forth and state my fundamental opposition to herd mentalities.

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All the Illinois schadenfreude aside (and you guys really need to get the :censored: over it), how in the hell does Bruce Pearl still have his job? Seriously, I know Tennessee doesn't have a sterling reputation when it comes to playing by the rules (down in SEC land, if you ain't cheating, you ain't tryin'), but this is some bullshiff.

And NCAA, what the :censored: are YOU doing? You told Dez Bryant to go away for the vast majority of the season for lying, right? What you have for Bruce Pearl had better make more than a damn ripple in the pond.

QFT

No one's saying Bruce Pearl isn't a complete douche, if not an outright scumbag for what he did. But like it or not, dirty politics are the lifeblood of revenue sports in major college athletics. If you honestly don't think Illinois and just about any program of any notable status has engaged in similar tactics at one point or another, then your naivete saddens me. The only reason we even know what Pearl did is because he made the mistake of not having an underling do his dirt for him.

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You talk about the life blood athletics and then suggest a fanbase should get over a grudge that creates energy, excitement, and rivalry (even if it's towards a coach)?

I know the Illini haven't been a clean program always. I'm sure the stuff the NCAA DID find was rule (I think they came down too hard, though). But Bruce Pearl is a jerk, and part of the lifeblood of athletics is holding grudges, "hating" opponents, and having fun with it, no?

For that reason I don't think we should ever "get over it".

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Okay, a lot of current undergrads hadn't been born when this Pearl thing happened. Aren't you supposed to kind of molt some of these things, like "you indirectly and questionably caught us committing numerous recruiting violations in the 1980s, booooo"? I get that school v. school can be a timeless rivalry, but nobody should really care anymore. Since the incident, the Illini have gone to a national championship and surely committed numerous bigger, better, undiscovered recruiting violations along the way. Isn't it over?

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Okay, a lot of current undergrads hadn't been born when this Pearl thing happened. Aren't you supposed to kind of molt some of these things, like "you indirectly and questionably caught us committing numerous recruiting violations in the 1980s, booooo"? I get that school v. school can be a timeless rivalry, but nobody should really care anymore. Since the incident, the Illini have gone to a national championship and surely committed numerous bigger, better, undiscovered recruiting violations along the way. Isn't it over?

Maybe. My amusement in this particular case here is directed more at how Bruce Pearl has made "fingering the violations of others" Mariotti-style a rather integral part of his public "rehabilitation." If you're going to do this, even if you're going after Calipari, you had better stick to the straight and narrow, lest something like this happen. By and large, Americans tolerate simple transgressions far better than they do base hypocrisy.

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Wayne McClain, wasn't he somehow involved in the time Jamar Smith left his teammate for dead in a crashed car to go play X-Box?

Um. How so?

I don't think so other than he was an Illinois coach and had a part in the aftermath of the situation. The incident itself was the players being stupid themselves.

Also, it's just ignorant and not particularly funny to claim he left his teammate for dead to play X-Box.

He didn't leave him for dead as in leaving him to die, he left him because he thought he WAS dead. And he didn't go to play X-box, he went to go freakout in his apartment because he thought he killed his best friend. It was all stupid, a series of stupid decisions that night made because he was under the influence. There's a lot of legitimate criticisms of Jamar for that night (and the problem it exposed), so there's no need to make up details like that.

Back to the original point, I really don't think McClain had a role in the incident.

Dfwabel,

I have no issues with what you've said re:Illinois, I just think you have the Wayne McClain thing all wrong. Rams80 makes perhaps the best point--Sergio was already here when Wayne was hired. He's also a bit older than your typical head coaching hire--most schools hire young flashy guy, especially if they're hiring a coach who has no prior experience. There's never been a good fit for Wayne as a head coach anywhere. And honestly, I'm not sure it's a desire of his to leave.

Now, maybe they did hire him more for his recruiting touch than his coaching abilities, but there's nothing slimy about that. It's slimy to hire a specific guy for a specific recruit. But to hire a guy you think can be a successful recruiter in certain areas for a long-time. That seems kind of like the idea to me.

I said this in post#18 here:

If many of us lied as Pearl did, we would have been fired.

He should be gone, especially since he recruits young men and works with young women to make correct decisions. His failure to tell the truth the NCAA and his bosses is a shame. However, if he was fired, ESPN would have hired him since he is a "personality" and like a Jewish Jim Valvano, since he is liked by the media.

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Wayne McClain, wasn't he somehow involved in the time Jamar Smith left his teammate for dead in a crashed car to go play X-Box?

Um. How so?

I don't think so other than he was an Illinois coach and had a part in the aftermath of the situation. The incident itself was the players being stupid themselves.

Also, it's just ignorant and not particularly funny to claim he left his teammate for dead to play X-Box.

He didn't leave him for dead as in leaving him to die, he left him because he thought he WAS dead. And he didn't go to play X-box, he went to go freakout in his apartment because he thought he killed his best friend. It was all stupid, a series of stupid decisions that night made because he was under the influence. There's a lot of legitimate criticisms of Jamar for that night (and the problem it exposed), so there's no need to make up details like that.

Back to the original point, I really don't think McClain had a role in the incident.

Dfwabel,

I have no issues with what you've said re:Illinois, I just think you have the Wayne McClain thing all wrong. Rams80 makes perhaps the best point--Sergio was already here when Wayne was hired. He's also a bit older than your typical head coaching hire--most schools hire young flashy guy, especially if they're hiring a coach who has no prior experience. There's never been a good fit for Wayne as a head coach anywhere. And honestly, I'm not sure it's a desire of his to leave.

Now, maybe they did hire him more for his recruiting touch than his coaching abilities, but there's nothing slimy about that. It's slimy to hire a specific guy for a specific recruit. But to hire a guy you think can be a successful recruiter in certain areas for a long-time. That seems kind of like the idea to me.

I said this in post#18 here:

If many of us lied as Pearl did, we would have been fired.

He should be gone, especially since he recruits young men and works with young women to make correct decisions. His failure to tell the truth the NCAA and his bosses is a shame. However, if he was fired, ESPN would have hired him since he is a "personality" and like a Jewish Jim Valvano, since he is liked by the media.

What.

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