Archive for the ‘sports and politics’ Category

pearl and politics

On June 11 University of Tennessee men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl endorsed Bill Haslam for governor. When I first heard the news I was happy to hear that the basketball coach at the college I graduated from was a republican.  Not only was I happy to hear he was a republican, but I was also impressed to hear that he publicly endorsed Mayor Haslam.  Making this public opens Pearl up to a lot of criticism even in conservative East Tennessee.

The only other previous case similar to this I can recall is when Duke coach Mike Kryzewski held a fundraiser for Elizabeth Dole in 2002. I apologize for linking an article from the New York Times, but I promise it won’t happen often. Anyways, Coach K took a lot of criticism for holding this fundraiser, and although Pearl hasn’t faced much criticism yet that could change.

The obvious problem in all of this is that the Haslam family donates more money to the University of Tennessee than most people can dream about ever obtaining.  Here are two examples of that $$ also here $$ .

So the question is should Pearl or any other college coach endorse a political candidate? The answer is yes. They have the same rights as anyone else and they can choose to support and endorse any candidate even under these circumstances.

I am interested to see if this will start a trend though because now that Pearl has opened himself up to supporting a Republican candidate you can be certain that future Republican candidates will seek similar endorsements from him.