Does Bruce Pearl have a future at Tennessee?
The odds don’t look good. He’s admitted lying to NCAA investigators. He broke NCAA rules. He’s served an eight-game suspension, forfeited $1.5 million in salary and is working without a contract.
Oh, yes. His Volunteers (19-15) got hammered by Michigan Friday, 75-45. They lost eight of their last 12 games.
Athletic director Mike Hamilton said earlier in the week that “the jury is still out” on whether Pearl will return. He apologized to the coach for the timing of his remarks, which created a distraction this week in preparing for the Wolverines, whose unique style of play makes them a challenge in the best of times.
Still, Pearl has had a successful six-year run at Tennessee with six straight NCAA tourney appearances, three Sweet Sixteens and one Elite Eight. He said he wants to return as coach. The NCAA has yet to rule on possible sanctions.
If Pearl gets the boot, he almost certainly will land at another school, although a lower profile one. That assumes that NCAA sanctions aren’t so servere as to make him toxic to colleges, as happened to former IU coach Kelvin Sampson.
We should know soon.
Can Cody Zeller lead his Washington team into a shot at yet another state championship? It has, after all, won three state titles in the last six years.
We’ll find out today in semistate action. Washington (22-4) has to beat Batesville (18-6), and then either Culver (18-6) or Columbia City (19-5) to advance to next week’s state finals.
Zeller is the Indiana Gatorade Player of the Year and the likely Indiana Mr. Basketball winner. He averages 24.1 points and 13.0 rebounds.
Oh, yes. He’s signed with Indiana and will head to campus some time this summer.
IU coach Tom Crean has wrapped up this three-day studio work for TruTV for the NCAA Tournament in part so he can check out Zeller’s semistate opportunity.
IU picked up a pair of All-America wrestlers with 197-pound Matt Powless and heavyweight Ricky Alcala clinching the honors at the NCAA meet in Philadelphia. Powless (38-7) will wrestle for seventh place today. Alcala (31-10) will finish no worse than sixth.
All five of Alcala’s matches have gone into overtime with Alcala winning four of them.
That gives IU 76 All-Americans in program history. Duane Goldman has coached 25 of them.