So I was watching "Cold Pizza" on ESPN in the afternoon and they talked about Bruce Pearl and his crazy decision to paint his body orange and put a silver letter on his chest with some of his basketball players in support of the Lady Vols who were going up against the #1 Duke Blue Devils. Skip Bayless ripped into Pearl basically saying it was not something a person in his role should do and then went on to proclaim that Pearl was only doing it to draw attention to himself. He topped it off by saying that Pearl's basketball players would lose respect for his authority because of this move. This was all said even with the knowledge that the people he was doing this with WERE his players.
Now I personally do not see anything wrong with what Pearl did and in fact I think it was a bold move to show support for the womens basketball team and an attempt to create a hectic environment for the Blue Devils to play in. Problem is I was suprised that Pearl left after five minutes because he didn't want to be a distraction. I think his leading of cheers and enthusiasm actually might have helped keep the crowd super engaged and loud and in the end could have helped the Lady Vols come out strong rather than start out the game falling down 19-0 to the Devils.
All this is to say that I think Skip Bayless is wrong in his opinion. First, who says what is in lines for a coach in terms of supporting other sporting teams at his school? Are there some kind of written rules about this? Second, while Pearl may have been drawing attention to himself his purpose for being there was to support the Lady Vols and Skip is just hypothesizing that Pearl is an egomaniac that really only cared about himself not supporting the women's team. Finally, does Skip have some inside track into the minds of the Tennessee mens players? To me it looked like they were proud to be out there with there coach and I don't know where Skip can come to the conclusion that his players will lose respect for his authority. I personally thnk Skip is just projecting his own feelings onto a group of players and in doing that really showing that he cannot understand these players because of the age gap between himself and them.
Oh and if you want to see a picture of Pearl donned in all the orange go over to www.deadspin.com and scroll on down it is there somewhere.