Apparently some Tennessee fans want their coach back. Yeah that coach – our coach. Following Friday’s firing of men’s basketball coach Donnie Tyndall, the Volunteers are in the market for their third coach in three years. As is the norm these days, fans took the logical route to raising money for Bruce Pearl’s buyout: GoFundMe.com.
As we go to press, things have been a little slow. Only 27 donors have stepped up so far, and they have raised a whopping $771. Clearly Payton Manning must be on spring break and away from his computer. With a $5 million buyout in place at Auburn, things are going to need to heat up in a hurry.
According to the site, if the money is raised, “…we’re cashing it, putting it in a dump truck, and driving it down to Auburn to bring our savior home.”
Right now, a Fiat should be sufficient.
Kidding aside, would Pearl really entertain it? It’s hard to know what he’s thinking. At this juncture his roots remain much deeper in Knoxville. It’s where he earned his stripes, and the fans clearly love him. He continues to do charity work in the area.
On the other hand, it’s also the place that fired him. The divorce was messy and ugly. While there is still clearly love for the fan base, the administration may be another story. Plus, you’re talking about $5 million. This is not football. And we’re not talking about Duke or Kentucky.
Football remains king in Tennessee. I’m not sure how many boosters are willing to put up that kind of dough to get Pearl out of his contract. They’ll still have to pay him big money if they get him out of Auburn. The money is there among the alumni base, but I just don’t see it happening.
From all outward indications, it seems that Pearl really loves Auburn. The students have bought into his plan, lining up hours before tipoff just to get a seat inside Auburn Arena. He’s brought Charles Barkley and Chuck Person back into the fold, along with other big-time donors. Pearl has every tool at his disposal to win.
Watching his starters come off the court a final time following the loss to Kentucky in the SEC Tournament, it was apparent that he’s emotionally attached. Tears ran down his cheeks as his players made their way to the bench.
It’s unlikely that Pearl will leave this year, but Auburn officials and fans should get used to this being a yearly occurrence. Suitors will come calling each year. It’s the ultimate compliment to both Pearl and Auburn.
Let’s just hope it’s not us putting the GoFundMe site up next year to keep him.
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War Eagle, everybody! The Auburn Tiger football team is once again on the practice field, and the 2015 edition is starting to take shape. Everybody's undefeated at this point, and the sky is the limit. However, one can easily worry also, as questions remain to be answered. We'll take a look this morning at the state of the football team as spring drills proceed as well as make some projections on position starters for the Tigers.Read Full Story
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