Poor Mike Slive.
You remember him, don’t you?
When he became commissioner of the Southeastern Conference, he vowed that within four or five years his domain would be completely free of rule breakers.
Look what the SEC boss is dealing with today. Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl has been suspended from coaching the Volunteers for the first half of their conference season. That amounts to the first eight SEC games. He can conduct practices, but his top assistant will be in charge during games.
I know that you are wondering if Pearl will be able to coach against Kentucky. The answer is yes. Tennessee comes to Lexington for a 9 p.m. game on Feb. 8. The last game of the regular season will match the Wildcats and Vols in Knoxville for a March 6 nooner on CBS.
Then there’s Cam
Slive’s penalty on Pearl is just the first problem for the UT coach. Now he has to worry about what the NCAA will do to him for multiple violations.
But this is just a drop in the penalty bucket for Slive. You can bet that he is sweating when he thinks about a much bigger problem: That little problem concerns Cam Newton, the Auburn quarterback.
If Auburn just paid $200,000 to get Cam, it got a bargain.
Vanderbilt is UK’s new best friend in the SEC. The Commodores did the Wildcats a huge favor when they beat North Carolina 72-65 in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off in San Juan. UK and the Tar Heels have the most victories in NCAA basketball history. When we get out of the holidays and I can be more timely, I will update the standings, but UK still leads.
And did you see what Tubby Smith did for his old school? Ol’ Tubby’s Minnesota team also beat North Carolina in Puerto Rico.
No matter what you think of Tubby’s coaching, he is one outstanding human being. I think he also is a good coach, but he was not a good recruiter for UK. That was his problem. I look for Tubby and Donna to return to Lexington when he retires from Minnesota. He was a tremendous representative for the university and the city.
Bow to Morehead
Morehead State University’s basketball budget probably isn’t one-fiftieth of Florida’s, but the Eagles gave Florida all it wanted before falling to Billy Donavan’s Gators 61-55. This also was in the Puerto Rico tournament .
Don’t look, UK
Warning, UK fans: You may want to stop reading right here.
Among nine former stars inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City, Mo., was Christian Laettner.
Sorry, but I warned you.
The punting game doesn’t get much attention, but it was the difference for West Virginia in its victory over Louisville. U of L’s ace return man Doug Beaumont, a threat to go all the way with any kick he catches, was taken completely out of U of L’s arsenal because he had to call for a fair catch just about every time.
I was reminded of the great Tennessee punters who could make most of their kicks go out of bounds between the five-yard line and the goal line.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Earl Cox, Sports Columnist
Earl doesn¹t just write about sports legends, he counts many of them as his
friends. A member of the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame, he has been writing
about sports for 60 years. Incidentally, that¹s about how long it’s been
since he¹s cleaned his desk but he knows where everything is.