CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 18: Head coach Bruce Pearl of the Tennessee Volunteers reacts in the second half while taking on the Michigan Wolverines during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 18, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
The Texas Legends, the D-League affiliate of the Dallas Mavericks, have reportedly hired Bruce Pearl as head coach.
Pearl was fired by Tennessee in March after the NCAA had alerted the university of violations by the coach, including that Pearl lied to NCAA investigators. It's unclear whether the NCAA will prevent Pearl, 51, from holding a Division-I job for any amount of time, but certainly universities are unlikely to bring Pearl in.
Enter the NBA, or more specifically the D-League, which has before been a landing spot for disgraced NCAA coaches. Quin Snyder landed as the head coach of the D-League's Austin Toros for three seasons following his resignation under fire at Missouri; he is now an assistant under Mike Brown with the Los Angeles Lakers.
After Kelvin Sampson was fired by Indiana University and slapped with a five-year show cause order by the NCAA over recruiting violations, he worked for the San Antonio Spurs, Milwaukee Bucks and now the Houston Rockets. He was considered an early candidate for the Detroit Pistons head coach job that eventually went to Lawrence Frank.
Pearl will meet with Legends officials this week, Stein reports. Nancy Lieberman, who coached the Legends last season, has moved into the team's front office.
For more on the NBA D-League, visit Ridiculous Upside.