CHICAGO (CBS) — Bruce Pearl has made it to college basketball’s biggest stage, leading Auburn to its first-ever Final Four.
To still-bitter Illini fans, Pearl is the poster boy for the seedy underbelly of the sport.
30 years ago retired UIC head coach Jimmy Collins was Lou Henson’s top recruiter at Illinois.
Pearl was an assistant at Iowa.
During a secretly recorded phone conversation, Pearl coerced Simeon high school star Deon Thomas to say that Collins offered him cash and a car to come to Champaign.
It lead to a costly NCAA Investigation for the Illini, but Collins was eventually cleared of the false accusation.
Ironically, Pearl was later fired at Tennessee for breaking the rules.
Ryan Baker sat down with Coach Collins to see if he continues to hold a grudge.