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Bruce Pearl blames NCAA -- not his lying -- for his firing


Mike Miller

Bruce Pearl made the media rounds Thursday, a day after learning the NCAA imposed a three-year show cause penalty on the former Tennessee coach. The move effectively bans him from a high-major job until 2014 (though some schools might think otherwise).

And he isn’t happy about it.

“I believe I should have gotten more credit for coming forward and telling the truth,’' Pearl told the Knoxville News-Sentinel. “But the damage that was done was too great.’'

Pearl won’t appeal the decision. He says he takes “full responsibility” for his actions. Instead, he seems to be hoping the contrition angle will help him for future gigs. But here’s a protip: Don’t piss off the NCAA by making critical comments.

He told the paper that the NCAA’s allegation of major violations was too harsh given that the charge was eventually dismissed. (Lying got him fired and punished, not the cheating.) Even if he’s correct, this probably isn’t the way to go, Bruce.

“The timing of that charge led directly to the termination of my coaching staff,’' Pearl told the paper. “Our chancellor and our athletic director went on record as saying that supposed bump violation was the beginning of the end for me.

“I waited a lifetime for a job like Tennessee ... It was my hope our staff could have survived.’'

Forget the NCAA. You know what would’ve helped you survive, Bruce? Not lying. And not lying some more.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.