Bruce Pearl’s coaching career my be taking at detour to the D-League.
Fired in March at the University of Tennessee for lying to NCAA investigators about recruiting violations, Pearl has been offered the Texas Legends’ head coaching job. Reports are suggesting he may get $500,000 a season.
Trust me, if he gets paid that much, it will only be for one season. I know the Legends have an 1-on-1 affiliation with the 2011 NBA champion Dallas Mavericks, but hey, they can’t throw dollars around like that for a guy who isn’t directly impacting the NBA franchise.
Dollars aside, the question is could he coach in the D-League?
The answer is yes, but how well is the second question. He’d face a whole different dynamic in the D-League. Players get no more than $30,000 and if they’re being coached by someone pulling in $500,000, he better be darn good early or they won’t respect him.
He’d replace Nancy Lieberman, who coached the Legends in their 2010-11 expansion season and stepped down to become the their assistant general manager. Texas went 24-26 under Lieberman and made the playoffs.
Now Pearl, who has been charged by the NCAA with unethical conduct and may face a college coaching ban, won’t get an A in the honesty department, but the guy can coach. He coached UT to an 145-61 record in six seasons.