Monday, February 06, 2006

Bruce Pearl 'Sorry and Embarrassed' for Being Kicked Out Of His Son's High School Game -- But He's Getting No Sympathy From Me

Maybe you haven't heard the latest story about Bruce Pearl.

You remember Pearl [lower right]. He's the former assistant basketball coach at Iowa who was....well, pretty damn controversial.

He was in the middle of the Deon Thomas mess at Illinois, and you always got the feeling he wasn't welcome back to the Big Ten Conference in any kind of coaching capacity.

Pearl had a good team at Wisconsin-Milwaukee last season, and has a better team this season at Tennessee.

He also still can't keep his mouth shut.

Pearl was even kicked out of a high school his son was playing in last week. reported that Pearl's "passion for basketball obviously isn't confined to his own Tennessee team. A referee ordered that Pearl be ejected from the gym after the Vols' coach criticized the referee while watching his son, Steven, play.

"Pearl left his seat in the bleachers before security personnel could get to him and watched the final minutes of the game from the lobby, as Steven scored 28 points to lead West to a 72-63 victory over Campbell County.

"'I'm sorry and embarrassed about it,' Pearl said. 'I have no margin for error, but I said nothing that would remotely rise to that level of attention.

"'I did not stand. I did not yell. I did not use any profanity. I suggested that since the official was having a rough time at that end, that maybe he and his partner should switch ends. I didn't do anything to deserve it, but I am a role model.'

"The referee that ordered Pearl's ejection, Shane Mynatt, had called a technical foul on Steven Pearl earlier in the season, Pearl said.

"Pearl said after he chided Mynatt about missing some calls Mynatt put the whistle in his mouth and stared at him for a few seconds.

"'I put my hands up and said, 'What are you going to do? Throw me out?' " Pearl recounted.

"That's when Pearl said Mynatt stopped play and hurried over to get security.

"Dave Sanderson, a security officer at West High, said Mynatt came over to him and a Knoxville City Police Department officer, pointed to Pearl and said, 'I want him gone right now.'

"Sanderson said he and the police officer then walked over to eject Pearl, but that he had already left his seat in the bleachers and was heading for the exit.

"Sanderson said he and the KPD officer met Pearl at the exit and walked with him to the concession stand area in the lobby without incident."

"He was very nice about it and shook our hands," Sanderson said. "He knew what was happening and said, 'Everything's all right fellows.'

"It didn't take a rocket scientist to know that he was getting ready to be kicked out."

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: Another way of looking at this is that maybe Pearl -- now supposedly a bigtime university coach and a legend in own mind and home -- was trying to intimidate the high school referee, especially after the ref called a technical on Bruce's son earlier this season. Old man Pearl obviously was out of control. If he can't handle himself better than that, he stay stay away from high school games].


Speaking of coaches, I received this e-mail from "South of the Border:"

"Ron -- You are right. Alford should forget Digger and focus on winning at Northwestern, which he has only done once in six years at Iowa. My guess is that Stevie Wonder is fairly intolerable to be around right not. He's got many tough games to win before he can claim a championship. I wish someone would remind him of that.

"I hope you don't get in trouble with the Muslim extremists for putting the drawing of Mohammad with a bomb on his head on your blog. Better have someone start your car for a few weeks."

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: "South of the Border's" comments are in reference to a couple of my recent columns. I wrote that Iowa basketball coach Steve Alford should probably ignore anything ESPN analyst Digger Phelps says about the Hawkeyes. Phelps has proven plenty of times that he knows little, or nothing, about basketball. Iowa can win Wednesday night at Northwestern, but it won't be easy. As for cartoons, I hope Duffy at the Register is paying attention to all this crap going on around the world about newsroom folks who draw them. Cartoonists are becoming few and far between in newspaper offices these days -- just like good editors. By the way, it was good to see that the Register finally caught up with the cartoon story two or three days after the rest of it had it].


Just when all you Joe Six-Packs out there who are my friends think they've heard it all, read this ridiculous story from

"When the NFL unveiled its most valuable players from the previous 39 Super Bowls, only three living members skipped the ceremony.

"Former 49ers quarterback Joe Montana and former Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw decided to stay home, while former Dolphins MVP Jake Scott was traveling in Australia.

"Montana, the league's only three-time Super Bowl MVP, turned down the invitation over money, Newsday and the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

"Montana, however, told ESPN2's Cold Pizza last week that he wasn't going to be at the game because his son had an important basketball game he wanted to attend.

"Bradshaw, who told league officials that he wanted to be with his family, also took issue with the fees, the Chronicle reported. Bradshaw, through a representative, denied the Chronicle's report that there was a dispute over money.

"Former MVPs were given $1,000 for incidental expenses while in Detroit, along with other amenities such as plane tickets, car rental and game tickets.

"Sources told each paper that Montana asked for a guarantee of at least $100,000 in appearance money.

"When the league balked at Montana's demands, the quarterback declined to be in attendance."

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: I'm checking my grandkids' sports schedules right now. Who needs clowns like Bradshaw [upper right] and Montana? Not me].


As usual, the Super Bowl commercials [lower left] were better than the football game.

I particularly liked the Budweiser ad showing the little Clydesdale [above left] dreaming of pulling the beer wagon.

The little guy didn't know that the big horse was giving him some help in the back.

Then the man who's watching all this says to the Dalmatian, "I won't tell if you won't."

Great stuff.


I long ago quit watching Monday Night Football.

I didn't know how bad and out of touch John Madden is until watching part of Sunday's game.

I fell asleep for 20 minutes in the first half and didn't feel like I missed a thing.


Joe McGuff, former sportswriter and editor of the Kansas City Star, has died at 79.

McGuff was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease in 1999.

He started at the paper in 1948 as a sports reporter and became a columnist in 1966, covering the Kansas City sports scene for 38 years.