5-at-10: Friday mailbag with Pearl possibilites, NCAA hurdles and more

Photo from the Mrs. 5-at-10 / A January snowflake is caught through the eye of a genius during the weather of last month.
Photo from the Mrs. 5-at-10 / A January snowflake is caught through the eye of a genius during the weather of last month.

Gang, hope you are enjoying the non-winter-like conditions.

Today we are going to move quickly. Like holiday quick.

In fact, we'll share our business of the Rushmores in the comments around lunch. It's been one of those kinds of mornings.

To the bag.

From Mike

Jay, love your work. Question and if you think it is mailbag-worthy, then great.

Is the ATT the coolest non major in golf?


I have spent way too much time on this question.

Let's start here.

The Ryder Cup is the best non-Major golf thing out there.

Heck, the Ryder Cup is better than the PGA Championship, and we all know this.

That said, I have played Augusta National. Twice. I have played East Lake, the Honors and the Farm. I have played TPC Sawgrass, and I am still longing to play Pebble, and the talks of the groups and the joy from the players make it even more enjoyable.

(Side question: How much fun are Baylor School grad and Bills QB1 Josh Allen going to have this weekend?)

From Warren

Jay, did you see that the Alabama baseball coach got hammered by the NCAA?


Yes, I saw that story, and here's more. Brad Whatshisname got a 15-year show cause tag from the NCAA.

In truth, the NCAA needs to worry less about NIL considering the way it has lost its way and assuredly needs to be vested in things like this.

Know this: We all bemoan the NIL details and the portal problems, but if fixed gambling becomes commonplace in college sports, well, goodbye.

From Gill

Jay, do you remember Jackie Robinson working at the paper as an advertising salesman? He was at the Times first and then moved to the Free Press. He played minor league ball for the Phillies for two years in the 50s. He said he always got a great round of applause until he ran out of the dugout and they saw he was white. I remember going to Engel stadium to meet a couple of sports writers. One was Stan Crawley. Three or four rows behind the plate. They were the loudest in the stadium giving the umpires hell. It was great. I'm Jackie Jr., but I go by my middle name of Gill. I always meant to call in when you were on the Zone and ask you about dad. Anyway, have a good day.


Thanks for the email and the thoughts and for reading.

I know someone named Michael Jordan, and he hates it.

Can you imagine being named Jackie Robinson, especially 50-plus years ago?

You guys and gals are great.

From Tom

They lowered the boom on Bruce Pearl for a backyard barbecue, then a year or so later effectively reversed themselves? (Of course, Coach Pearl and some assistants attempted to get cute with their accounts of said barbecue and paid the price).

Although ,Coach Pearl seems to have recovered well in Auburn? Which raises a question and this not throwing shade at Rick Barnes: Would the Vols have already been to a Final Four or perhaps won a Natty with Bruce still in Knoxville?


Bruce Pearl's sins at UT are going to continue to shrink by the month.

Think of the number of scandals and controversies we have had since Pearl was targeted in Knoxville.

This is not to say Pearl is an angel. He is not.

But wow, the sins of previous sinners seem far less egregious.

And yes, Pearl would have assuredly have the Vols into the Final Four (at least) if he had not been snapped by the NCAA and the spineless UT leadership.

For Pete's sake, Pearl got AU to a Final Four, and while UT is certainly not a college hoops blue blood, they have way, way, WAY more pedigree than Auburn.

If Pearl was still at UT, the Vols with that path and projection would be top-five nationally.

From Fish in a Barrel

The question on sports radio today in Atlanta was "Who was the best Georgia high school basketball player you ever saw play? Was there a moment you remember?"

My answer was @jgreesontfp.


Yikes. You are too kind, and I am humbled by the shout-out.

If I had to list the best high school basketball players I saw in person, here's my list (again, these are the players I saw in person):

— Dwight Howard. Lord, he dominated everything.

— Brian Oliver. Played at my school's rival and scored more on Tuesdays and Fridays than Wilt did.

— Dale Ellis. I was a kid, and we went to Marietta High to watch this dude do his thing.

— Darrin Hancock. His entrance to the Griffin High gym as the entire crowd would shout, "Whose House ... Han-cock" was awesome.

— Fifth pick, we will go off the board and say Mary Beth Lycett, who was a star at Morrow and a wonderful player and person. Also of note, she is now Mrs. Kirby Smart.

Have a great weekend, friends.

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