If Tennessee has an opening, it should hire Bruce Pearl. Go ahead, Tennessee. He paid his price. You paid yours. Bruce Pearl is a good coach who made a bad mistake and had to be fired -- I was calling for his dismissal months before Tennessee finally did it -- but who served his time and surely, surely learned from his mistake.
I think Bruce Pearl knew, regretted, and learned from his mistake way before he was fired. Still, my biggest concern is him lying about something so inconsequential. I'm terrified that some other larger violation spurred him to cover up the visit to his home.
Here on the outside, the opinion is this: If Tennessee decides [Cuonzo] Martin isn't the right guy and is looking for a new coach in a month or so, the perfect coach to hire -- not a good coach, but the perfect coach -- still lives in the area and bleeds orange and calls the Volunteers "we."
In the end, I 100% agree with this. The weird thing about this is it almost felt inevitable three years ago. And as Bruce has stuck around Knoxville and continued to be so loved in the commmunity, it has felt more and more inevitable. Cuonzo Martin needed to win big to make people forget about Bruce and he hasn't done that. Three years of teams that have underachieved, played a boring brand of basketball, and lost just enough games to bad teams to keep them out of the dance have made people in Knoxville impatient.
Bruce Pearl should be Tennessee's basketball coach. Given Cuonzo's quiet nature, it almost feels like he never left.