Jewish Journal

My Take on Pearl’s Departure

by Jeremy Fine

March 23, 2011 | 12:03 pm

By now people have probably read that Bruce Pearl has been fired. Obviously, this was breaking news worthy as Pearl has been the most successful Jewish coach on any level over the last 5 years. Here is my take (I waited to post this to let things settle):

I truly have mixed feelings. Is it bad for the Jews to have one less coach? Yes. Was he successful? Of course. But he broke the rules. So I am less than thrilled with that and he probably got what he deserved. Do other coaches do the same thing? Yes. Do some do worse? I am sure. But many years ago Pearl built his name as a whistle blower on Illinois and Deon Thomas. I am clearly on the fence with my feelings about Pearl. I love him as a Jewish coach. I have heard he is a great guy. I am not so happy with his ethics or him calling out my Illini.

All that being said, he is a fantastic on the court coach. He will sit for a year, maybe two. But then he will be back in the saddle at a somewhat smaller school that is trying to play with the big boys or a school with a winning tradition that has struggled for a few years. So this isn’t the last we have seen of Pearl and hopefully he has learned his lesson. Play fair, it always pays off.

And Let Us Say…Amen.
-Jeremy Fine
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Rabbi Jeremy Fine is the Assistant Rabbi at Temple of Aaron in St. Paul MN. He was ordained from the Jewish Theological Seminary where he also received a Masters in Jewish...

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