Wednesday, March 19, 2014
AUBURN - In a move to make newly hired Bruce Pearl, a man of Jewish faith, feel welcome in Auburn, athletic director Jay Jacobs went out of his way to make Yiddish references in his introduction of Pearl as head basketball coach.
"Bruce is a real mentsh," Jacobs said to a confused, mostly protestant audience. "He will fit in perfectly with the Auburn family, or 'mishpocheh' if you will."
Despite leaving Tennessee after being caught committing NCAA violations, Pearl is a popular hire among people on the Plains. "I'm getting all verklempted thinking of when he agreed to become our new coach," Jacobs stated.
Pearl has been a successful coach in his career but does not come without baggage. Pearl, along with officials from the Auburn athletic department, will meet with the NCAA soon to hopefully have the show-cause penalty lifted before it expires on August 23.
"Even with Pearl's past," Jacobs continued "I would have been a real shlemiel not to hire him. He is a proven winner and he will work his tuches off to make Auburn a winner again."
Throughout the athletic department, employees were given orange and navy yarmulkes to wear and the flower arrangement at the front desk was replaced with an out-of-date Menorah.
"We tried to tell Jay that Hanukkah was not occurring but he would have none of it," said Kirk Sampson, sports information director for Auburn University. "Earlier, we caught him stepping on a glass and yelling 'OPA!' and we had to alert him that that was, in fact, Greek."
After the press conference, Jacobs could be heard praising Pearl's "shtick" on the sidelines and how he had "schlepped" all the way up north to meet with Pearl, who was working for ESPN.
"He assured me that everything would be kosher when it comes to following the NCAA rules," Jacobs said while looking up the term "War Eagle" in Hebrew.
When asked about Jacobs' comments, Pearl mumbled, "Freaking gentiles."