In this week's Sports Illustrated, Dan Patrick has a great exchange with Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl:
Patrick: [You] can't be putting your hands on Erin Andrews at halftime, coach.
Pearl: Erin is a terrific sideline reporter....I actually called her and texted her back, and I apologized if in any way that was unprofessional.
Patrick: Is texting her an NCAA violation?
Pearl: No, she's not a prospect.
Patrick: Oh, yes, she is.
Pearl: She's way out of my league when it comes to that category.
As in Erin's good looks matched up against Pearl's? Or as in he's old enough to be Erin's father?
The interview ends on a fascinating note:
Patrick: When was the last time you accidentally broke an NCAA rule?
Pearl: Probably sometime in this conversation.
This answer can be parsed two ways. One, Bruce Pearl is using simple logic: Time, say, 10 minutes has elapsed during this interview. Ergo, Pearl must have broken some rule in the War and Peace version of the NCAA Manual. Or, two, Pearl is referring to the Erin Andrews Rule, a little known bylaw recently passed by the NCAA that says that no coach will have impure thoughts about Erin and/or contemplate whether he is or isn't in her "category." Come on coach, show some institutional control!
I love Coach Pearl. Mostly because he doesn't take himself too seriously. And because when he was an Iowa assistant coach in the late 1980s, Pearl provided a glimpse into the sometimes seedy world of recruiting, which at the time was considered career suicide. (A great google find: the purported memo sent by Pearl to the NCAA alleging recruiting improprieties by Illinois.)
While on the subject of this week's SI, Grant Wahl writes a fantastic piece on Tyler Hansbrough, SI's college basketball player of the year. (Great summary of Psycho-T's game by Roy Williams: "It's like sumo wrestling followed by George Gervin's finger roll.") Last week, Grant wrote on what's wrong with college basketball. Answer: Abusive fans. Tyler Hansbrough represents everything that is right.