Auburn Hires Pearl to Head the Hoopsters

Published on 18-Mar-2014 by Stacey Mickles

Basketball - NCAA Mens    NCAA Basketball Daily Update

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Auburn Hires Pearl to Head the Hoopsters

Well, former Alabama basketball coach Wimp Sanderson was right.

He said last week on his Birmingham radio show that if Bruce Pearl was offered the Auburn job, he'd take it, and today, he did.

The former Tennessee coach was announced as the new dude on the Plains to the shock of many, including me. I honestly thought Pearl would wait for a better gig. Obviously not.

"I'm humbled and blessed to be back in the game that I love," Pearl, who turned 54 on Tuesday, said in a statement. "I don't know how long it will take, but it's time to rebuild the Auburn basketball program and bring it to a level of excellence so many of the other teams on campus enjoy."

Terms weren't released. But fan emotions were:

This is a huge get for the Tigers because a few schools -- and one pro team -- allegedly showed interest in Pearl.

Pearl as you may recall, was cited for unethical conduct for lying to investigators in June 2010 about improperly hosting recruits at his home. He was placed under a three-year show-cause penalty, which expires in late August.

So Pearl can coach but can't recruit until August. You have to wonder what the fans in Tuscaloosa think? Again, it's clear how Auburn feels about the hire.

A good number of Crimson Tide fans were disappointed that Alabama didn't fire Anthony Grant and go after Pearl themselves.

Now that Auburn has hired Pearl, the heat on Grant just went from hot to scorching. 

And you can feel that heat all the way in Auburn.

Click on a photo to enlarge.