By Cy Brown
Bruce Pearl is coaching college basketball once again and that's good news for Auburn students who like to hang out with their head basketball coach.
Pearl crashed an Auburn class with a marching band and mascot in tow in an attempt to get students excited about coming to basketball games, something I thought they stopped playing at Auburn after Charles Barkley left.
The students seemed pretty jazzed to have Pearl disrupt their eduction. I would be too if my professor was about to unleash an hour long lecture about #brands.
Pearl is known for stunts that try to get students excited about basketball. At Tennessee, he would paint his body and join the student section for women's basketball games. Pearl is a strange mixture of coach and carnival barker. If any coach in the country knows how to get students to games, it's him.
He made a crucial misstep, though. At SEC schools not named Kentucky, the only way into the students' hearts is through football. Take Georgia basketball head coach Mark Fox for example. He painted up and joined the Spike Squad, a UGA student fan group, for last season's football game against LSU. Did more people come to the hoops games because of it? No, but he does probably still have black paint behind his ears.
Getting students at a football school to go see their bad basketball team is a tall order, and it probably can't be fixed by Bruce Pearl screaming like a maniac in someone's classroom. Especially when the team was 49-75 in four seasons under previous head coach Tony Barbee. Winning is what cures most attendance ills.
I have a new strategy to get Auburn basketball more attendance: put this clip on the video board and show it on repeat.
No one will watch the basketball, of course, but there will be butts in the seats.
* * *
Cy Brown is a writer and freelancer based in Athens, Georgia. He lives with a dingo. Follow him on Twitter @CEPBrown.