2011 BBQ Jew of theYear: Bruce Pearl

Although it is only August, former University of Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl has already locked up the prestigous 2011 BBQ Jew of the Year award [Editor’s note: See our March 23rd, 2011 profile of Coach Pearl here].  Coach Pearl is one of the country’s highest profile Jewish sports figures.  He was fired from Tennessee this spring in the aftermath of an NCAA investigation surrounding a recruiting violation that took place over barbecue at Pearl’s home in Knoxville in 2008, and the subsequent cover-up.  A few days ago the NCAA announced that Pearl is banned from any recruiting for the next three years.  What did Coach Pearl do when he found out about the NCAA’s penalty?  Naturally, he had a barbecue.

In order to respond to the NCAA’s announcement, Coach Pearl hosted a “press luncheon, where barbecue was once again served.”  It is unclear whether Pearl saw any irony in serving barbecue at an event intended to discuss, and take responsibility for, the penalties imposed on him for an illegal barbecue.  Whether or not he recoginized the irony, Pearl has secured the 2011 BBQ Jew of the Year award.  After all, Coach Pearl either:

a) Realized the irony of having the media over for barbecue and relished in the dark humor of it all, a bad ass move that would make a mob boss proud.


b) Did not think that there was anything odd about returning to the scene of the crime to address the media, since his love of barbecue is so strong.

Whatever Coach Pearl was thinking, he is clearly a dedicated BBQ Jew.  Bravo Coach Pearl, and may your next coaching job be somewhere in the south so you can keep on eating ‘cue and doing it your way.

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