Bruce Pearl Takes Swipe at Lane Kiffin
But sometimes, when you want to slink away from the headlines and bury yourself beneath the bluster of a fellow wind-bag, that other guy is perfect interference.
Lately, Pearl has needed the latter. After being slapped with a round of NCAA infractions for lying to investigators and an embarrassing preseason loss to the University of Indianapolis, the embattled Tennessee coach has been craving a similarly mammoth personality to, well, do something imprudent.
Speaking to around 100 people at the Knoxville Quarterback Club Monday, Pearl half-apologized, half-yearned for the days of yore when a certain ex-Vol football coach and enemy No. 1 in the state would somehow find his name above the fold.
"I've made mistakes, I clearly did, but what I was hoping for was that some other dumbass would get on the front page and take me off the hook,'' Pearl said. "I miss Lane Kiffin.''
The uproarious laughter showed, if anything, that the Vol faithful is behind their coach regardless of any transgressions, so long as he maintains his loyalty to the university. It doesn't hurt, either, that Pearl is fresh off a trip to New York City following a victory over No. 12 Villanova and an NIT Championship.
"We needed that," Pearl said. "It felt good to get back to normal."
No. 17 Tennessee faces Middle Tennessee State Tuesday night before a date at No. 3 Pittsburgh Dec. 11.