Bruce Pearl, VP Of Marketing — For Now

Posted by jstevrtc on August 30th, 2011

The ink on Bruce Pearl’s three-year show-cause sanction from the NCAA is barely dry, and he’s already found his next job. Pearl has agreed to the position of VP of Marketing for the Knoxville-based H.T. Hackney company, one of the biggest wholesale grocers in the country. We haven’t been able to confirm this yet, but RTC is going on record as saying that Hackney’s CEO, William Sansom, will not have to go before the NCAA to justify why it wants to hire the former Tennessee boss.

Pearl: From Volunteer to VP to...We'll See

OK, we’re ribbing Pearl a little, there, but frankly, we like the move. A lot of guys who have achieved Pearl’s level of success would shun opportunities like this, knowing how they’d be made fun of for going from the heights of men’s Division I hoops to a wholesale grocer (though it is a $4 billion a year outfit). Pearl doesn’t care about this, and we think that’s something to admire. What’s more is…it’s a VP job in marketing. Not an easy day’s work, usually, but we also know a lot of marketing VPs who do absolutely no work at all. We predict that Pearl — a marketing and economics major in college, according to the linked article — will have a workload that falls somewhere in-between there but closer to the latter.

This seems like the kind of gig a guy might take if he wanted (or were forced) to lay low for a bit and use his resources to figure out his next move, meaning what he’s going to do when the sentence has been served and the show-cause expires. He’s got little motivation to leave the area; despite what’s happened, he’s still thought of pretty highly among the UT faithful, and he’s got lots of family there.

Three years will seem like a long time to Pearl, but it will pass like a dream, especially compared alongside the eight-year ban that current Morgan State head coach Todd Bozeman had to endure. If Bozeman found work after eight (which turned out to be ten) years, eventually returning to the NCAA Tournament, you have to figure Pearl will find something after three. Plus, Bozeman’s crime was paying a player, the practice most despised by the NCAA. Pearl’s problem was lying about his recruiting improprieties and then taking too long to tell the truth. They’re both obviously wrong, but aren’t close to the same thing.

Finally, if that offer made to Pearl to coach in the NBA’s developmental league was real and it really was worth half a million bucks, why would Pearl turn that down? Would it be because he wanted to get away from the game for a while and do something else, something that would make use of his knowledge in the area in which he earned his college degree, or maybe because he’s already hearing about other future coaching opportunities, and doesn’t want to rule anything out by entering into a contract with the NBA? Either way, we have no problem with his decision.

jstevrtc (547 Posts)

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