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A Reunion of Sorts on Tap if Auburn Hires Pearl

Kevin Scarbinsky of

In fact, if there’s a school that can justify hiring a coach with any sort of NCAA baggage, it’s Auburn, which has not one but two former NCAA employees on staff in Senior Associate AD Rich McGlynn and Associate AD Dave Didion.

According to a source with knowledge of the situation, Didion was the lead NCAA investigator on the Tennessee case. Which means he knows exactly what Pearl did and didn’t do and what he said and didn’t say to draw the NCAA’s attention in the first place and how he acted during the investigation.

Compliance professionals who arrive on campus straight from the NCAA sometimes have a tough time initially. Coaches can be suspicious of former enforcement staff who were “on the other side” previously. This gets worse when mixed with the perception that the former NCAA staffer is being brought in to “clean up” the athletic department.

With Didion and Pearl though, this would might go beyond some theoretical fear. Having the NCAA staff member on campus who investigated a coach’s violation definitely helps in vetting the candidate. But it would seem some additional conversation would be needed to make sure everyone was on the same page and there were no hard feelings.

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