Originally Posted by Chris4Vols22
Yet I don't remember you or any other person on this forum claim it was a joke. Didn't it gather a quarter million sigs? Yeah, your "joke" narrative is very false.
Then you either have a very bad memory or a selective one. I said it was a joke from the very beginning. Why? Because there was zero chance of Pearl coming back to UT at that time.
I'd say there were three camps that were voting on the petition:
1. People who weren't happy with the job Cuonzo was doing and thought Pearl had a legitimate shot at coming back.
2. People who weren't happy with the job Cuonzo was doing and knew Pearl wasn't coming back but voted anyway because they were unhappy.
3. Fictitious names made up by people in group 1 or 2 hoping to inflate the numbers or non-UT fans having fun and making up names.
If you fell into group 1 then you were completely oblivious to how the UTAD operates. Most of the same people in power that fired Pearl were employed 3 years after he was able to coach again. I would hope most of the signatures would've been in group 2, but if you looked at some of the actual signatures then you'd know a lot of them were made up. Hence, my reason for saying it was a joke. We had a better chance at getting Nick Saban to come coach basketball than we did Bruce Pearl at that time.
The one thing it did accomplish was it helped Cuonzo move on and UT get a new coach. If you think it was the sole reason then you are naive. For one, Dave Hart didn't exactly give Cuonzo a ringing endorsement after the Sweet 16 run. Dave Hart also didn't hire Cuonzo. Cuonzo knew the next year was going to be a rebuilding year. He also knew the natives were restless. What better time to get out than then? As he said, it was time. Cuonzo may not be the best bench coach, but he could see the writing on the wall. His stock wasn't going to be much higher in the near future. He could get 3-4 more years guaranteed somewhere else so he left.
The disturbing part of him leaving was the racism accusations. I thought that was sensationalized. Every fan base has those wackos. Sometimes, they are the ones who scream the loudest and get heard. He obviously heard something and the press took it and ran with it.