Well that didn't take long. It took less than 18 hours since Chris Mack was officially 'separated' from Louisville for this report to come out. Is it shocking? Of course not. Pearl is basically going to be linked to every major job, especially those at 'basketball schools.' This is what happens when you have the No. 1 team in the country at a job that isn't necessarily considered a destination job in the basketball world. Now at the same time, this is a smart play by Pearl. If he wants to stay at Auburn he's going to use this for power, like every other coach in the world.
In fact there's already apparently a wishlist that Pearl has. (h/t On3)
If not before, Auburn’s administration should have walked into Pearl’s office on Monday – as Auburn became the nation’s No. 1-ranked team for the first time ever – and guaranteed that whatever was on Bruce Pearl and his coaching staff’s immediate wishlist was going to be taken care of, and taken care of immediately. No questions asked. Men’s-only facility and pay raises across the board to start.
Auburn Live wrote about the men’s facility on Tuesday. And to add to that story, that topic will be discussed in the next Board of Trustees meeting on February 4. The men’s-only facility is going to happen. That’s one thing down. Now, it’s time to talk money and future.
Pearl currently makes right around $4 million annually and his contract runs through 2023-24. Rick Barnes at Tennessee makes close to $5 million. Chris Beard at Texas makes $5 million. Jay Wright at Villanova makes $6 million. That’s where Pearl needs to be, at the minimum. Auburn’s administration had an opportunity recently to address the pay issues, but instead, told Pearl that raises for the staff weren’t going to happen at the moment. According to sources, Auburn’s administration has been reluctant on addressing certain items that Pearl and Co. want when it comes to the basketball program. That simply can not continue.
Uhh ya think? If Auburn is serious about trying to compete in basketball long term, you go and offer a bunch of money and give raises. It's sort of insane that they said pay raises weren't going to happen. The basketball team is currently more successful than football. It's set up for more long term success than football at the moment. As long as Pearl is there you're going to be a top-25 program. Without Pearl, well, you can look at Auburn's history. It ain't great. Auburn's basketball history is basically Charles Barkley, Chuck/Wes Person, that sweet year with Chris Porter and Bruce Pearl. That's it.
This is where Pearl is smart. If he doesn't want Louisville or Maryland or whatever, use it to his advantage. Get more money. Get the facilities upgraded. Again, this is what every good coach does. They use every leak to their advantage and go through reporters and interviews for that sole reason. All it takes is a quick Twitter search to see both Auburn and Louisville fans losing their shit about Pearl.
Now let's address the other thing. It's January. Of course Bruce Pearl isn't going to lead on he wants the Louisville job. Not now when Auburn is ranked No. 1. That's just ... well, it's just dumb. You don't derail this season by letting it linger over. So this report comes out and this is how we get here. Either way Bruce Pearl is about to get a nice ass pay day.