Anyone who’s familiar with TNT’s “Inside the NBA” program understands that Charles Barkley has an unfiltered mouth. The former NBA star will always voice his opinion–one popular or one against the grain–but that’s why most enjoy him.
Barkley is at it again. Invited to Auburn Friday with other prominent former Tigers, Barkley spoke out against the NCAA and the punishments hammered down on new Auburn basketball coach Bruce Pearl.
Charles Barkley is talking up Auburn at Bruce Pearl’s basketball letterman reunion Friday night. pic.twitter.com/a2yv8472dQ
— Auburn Gold Mine (@AUGoldMine) June 28, 2014
Pearl took the Auburn job in March. He was fired from Tennessee and given a three-year NCAA show-cause penalty that stemmed from recruiting violations and lying to NCAA officials. In a report by the Montgomery Advertiser, Barkley supported his alma mater’s new coach.
“I thought he got screwed by the NCAA. He did not get a fair deal with the NCAA. I’m not a big NCAA fan as you can tell. What happened to him was really unfair,” Barkley said.
Pearl invited Barkley back to Auburn for the Moore’s Mill Club event. The former NBA All-Star said he appreciates the love Pearl has shown to him and other past Auburn players.
“I want to thank Bruce for having all us guys back,” Barkley said. “It’s really cool. I look forward to coming back any time I get an opportunity. The one thing people aren’t talking about is I thought it was cool to invite all the old coaches. People always invite the old players back, but to invite the old coaches, I thought that was spectacular. I’m glad to be here, we’re going to have some fun.”
“I’m going to support Bruce. I’m not one those alumni. Trust me, Auburn has enough alumni who are in a pain in the [expletive] to run the football program. I’m going to support Bruce,” Barkley said. “Whatever he needs from me, I want to support the program. I’m not one of those alumni. I just want to support my team and my school. That’s it. Plain and simple.”