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A little over two years after Tennessee fired Bruce Pearl for lying to NCAA investigators in hopes of covering up a minor violation he committed, the ex-Vols coach apparently doesn't mind some good-natured ribbing about his career-altering mistake.
Steven Pearl, Bruce's son and host of a weekly show on Tennessee Sports Radio, recently appeared in a radio commercial for Calhoun's, a well-known Knoxville-based chain of barbecue restaurants. The minute-long spot pokes fun at the backyard barbecue Bruce Pearl hosted at his home for recruit Aaron Craft, a violation uncovered by the NCAA enforcement staff when they found pictures of the future Ohio State point guard at Pearl's home.
"Hey TSR, I'm Steven Pearl, and if there's one thing we Pearls know, it's how to throw a barbecue," the younger Pearl begins. Then after lauding the food at Calhoun's, Pearl delivers this hilarious line: "Just remember, my two rules for legendary backyard barbecues – get your food from Calhoun’s and absolutely no photography."
Of course the commercial's most memorable one-liner comes during the legal disclaimer at the end of Pearl's pitch. "Offer not available to Aaron Craft."
It's pretty terrific that Bruce Pearl and his family are able to laugh at themselves over what had to be a traumatic period of their lives.
By compounding a minor mistake with the foolish decision to lie to NCAA investigators, Pearl cost himself a job he had worked hard to attain. By being willing to endure a joke or two at his expense, he has helped Vols fans forgive his mistake and attained the acceptance that could one day help him get back into coaching if he chooses.
(Thanks, College Basketball Nation)