When he went to the Lady Vols game against No. 1 Duke, shirtless with a “V” painted on his chest, we thought it was nice to see that Bruce Pearl had a sense of humor. And hey, it was also cool to see a college coach get involved in a campus activity and show some enthusiasm. We kinda liked Pearl after that. But that all changed when we read this.
My God, what has he started?
According to the article, Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt has decided to (gulp) return the favor tonight when Pearl’s team faces the No. 4 Florida Gators. Summitt didn’t say what she’s planning but she dropped hints alluding to her days as a cheerleader in seventh and eight grade, “I might come back and perform with my staff.”
Looks like coach Pearl is in on the secret but won’t divulge any information. “I know what Pat is doing, but I’m not at liberty to say,” he said. “I think (fans) are going to love it, and I think America is going to see a side of Pat Summitt that they haven’t see in a long time.”
OK, I’m not going to mince words here, I find women’s basketball utterly unwatchable on any level. But there are two people I respect (and by respect I mean “can name”) in the women’s college basketball world, Summitt is one of them (Geno Auriemma is the other). I know she’s the winningest basketball coach in NCAA history (men’s or women’s) with 940 wins, and I’ve always seen her as more Bob Knight than John Wooden. Very stern, almost angry, and someone who takes what she does a little too seriously.
Whatever she’s planning, I can almost guarantee it will be vomit-inducing. For this sacred cow of women’s basketball (a completely unintentional, horrible choice of words) to be in anything less than a pants-suit is just wrong. She’s 54 and a women’s basketball coach. Enough said.
When asked why (in God’s name) she would do something like this, Summitt was clear this was all for Pearl.
“It’s all for Bruce. The fact that he and his guys painted their chests. He made that statement and generated a lot of excitement to the community and obviously brought a lot of exposure to the university and I respect Bruce,” she said. “From the time he’s been here, he’s been nothing but supportive of the women’s program.”
Bruce please, we are begging you, stop her. This will not end well. Other than the ESPN Conversation on Page 2 columns, this is probably the worst idea ever.