mulberry daria hobo Auburn men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl gets dunked in a water tank to raise money for Push America, a charity associated with the Pi Kappa Phi chapter on the Auburn University campus on Wednesday, April 2, 2014.
-- Bruce Pearl has been dunked on a time or two.
It's happened on the basketball court as a player and at charity events -- in the water dunk tanks made popular at carnivals and fairs.
The newly-hired Auburn basketball coach volunteered 20 minutes to allow students a chance, at a pop, to dunk him in a water tank outside the Haley Student Center on campus Wednesday. Why? For charity, he said.
"I m embarrassed as any 54-year-old by taking his shirt off," Pearl said. "But if you can t make fun of yourself, who can? I m a pretty big target."
Pearl volunteered to help out the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, which partnered with Push America to raise money for the charity. Pearl donated 0 to the charity after his final dunk in the tank Wednesday afternoon.
"We re going to ask the students to come out and watch our team play, and support and maybe travel with us," Pearl said. "So I can t ask them to engage in our program if I m not willing to engage in their program. That s kind of what it s all about.
"It s fun. These are probably some of the things I missed as much about not being in coaching as anything." Auburn coach Bruce Pearl discusses the idea to get dunked in a water tank for charity on the Auburn campus and how his search for a pair of new assistant coaches is coming along Wednesday, April 2, 2014.
Pearl arrived shortly after noon in a navy blue Auburn shirt and orange shorts. He quickly shed the shirt, showing off his chest at a university event for the first time since his well-publicized participation and cheering from the Tennessee student section during a women's basketball game in 2007.
Students also paid to run up to the tank to dunk Pearl without throwing a ball at the target.
Pearl, of course, shared a few jokes after some dunks. "I wish I had some players who could shoot like that," he told one student.
Pearl dried off quickly after the 20-minute session to catch a plane to Arlington, Texas for the Final Four. He travels there as he looks to make a hire or two to fill out his staff.
"I know that sometime tonight back in Knoxville, somehow my wife is going to see this on YouTube or she s going to see it on television and go, What in the world are you doing? " Pearl said. "But, this is just, I m not trying to be anybody but myself."
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