Friday, March 18, 2011

Tennessee's travesty of a performance should spell the end for Bruce Pearl

It was a fitting send off for Bruce Pearl. A 75-45 loss to Michigan. Yuck.

In a season that was a roller coaster ride of embarrassment for Pearl and the Tennessee program, the Vols ended their season by packing it in at halftime of their opening round NCAA Tournament game against Michigan. Down 33-29 thanks to a buzzer-beating layup at the end of the first half by Darius Morris, Tennessee never showed up in the second half, allowing Michigan to go on a 42-16 second half run.

Seriously, Tennessee scored 16 second half points. The 30 point defeat was the worst of Bruce Pearl's career.

And Michigan did it without the benefit of a made free throw.

Simply put, the Vols gave up. They rolled over and died.

“We just didn’t play with no heart out there," Tobias Harris, who scored all of his 19 points in the first half, said after the game. "We basically just quit.”

I understand how a season with the kind of distractions and off the court issues can plague a team. I get that 18-22 year olds aren't exactly the most well prepared people for dealing with that kind of drama. And I feel bad ripping them for it, but it must be said.

I hate to sound like and old fogey, but playing in the NCAA Tournament is an honor. Don't believe me? Ask Malcolm Delaney. The Virginia Tech senior spent his entire career on the outside looking in. You don't think he would have given anything to have traded spots with the Vols?

Quitting on a game, quitting on your coach is disrespectful. Its disrespectful to the game, its disrespectful to the fans that spent all that money to travel to Charlotte to support you. Its a slap in the face to the teams that didn't make the NCAA Tournament cut.

I don't like bashing college athletes. They are kids. And contrary to popular opinion, they are not yet professional athletes.

But that performance today was an embarrassment. Its one thing to give up on a game when you are down 35 at halftime. Its another to quit when a game is still very winnable.

There is no way that Bruce Pearl can survive this.

With the NCAA preparing to drop another hammer on the Vols head coach and a team that is capable of quitting on the sport's biggest stage, its time for Pearl to go.

The good news?

Pearl will now be able to invite who every he pleases to his barbecues.


Anonymous said...

You don't know anything about this situation except whatever the idiots at ESPN vomit out.

It must be hard being an unoriginal imbecile.

Anonymous said...

That may have been the most unnecessary comment I've ever read.

This was clearly an opinion piece. How would he have gotten that from ESPN?

And how does a national basketball blogger not know about the Bruce Pearl situation? It's only been discussed for the past four months.

Comments like the one above should be saved for the 4chan message boards.