Tennessee basketball: Auburn Twitter melts down over Julian Phillips’ commitment to Vols

Fan bases whining about a recruit following the money when committing to a rival school rings hollow now with NIL money bringing it out into the open. That didn’t stop the Auburn Tigers fan base from raging at Tennessee basketball after landing five-star Julian Phillips this past week.

Also, a school that hired Bruce Pearl immediately after his show-cause ended, which he got for an NCAA violation at UT that resulted in him being fired, and then got hit with probation for violations under Pearl, should never lecture anybody about ethics. Again, though, Auburn is shameless.

One look at Twitter the past week shows that they think NIL money is unethical and wrong if it doesn’t result in a player coming to them. Just look at a few of these tweets directed at Tennessee basketball over Phillips’ decision to commit.

All of a sudden, Phillips is not elite because he chose the other school. Also, apparently there’s an “ethical” way to give out NIL money that wasn’t described. Again, though, Auburn is the last school in the SEC to lecture about ethics in basketball now that Will Wade is gone.

Perhaps what’s funnier, though, is many Tiger fans tried to tie the money into Phillips’ NBA potential. They inaccurately lashed out at Rick Barnes’ track record in producing NBA Draft prospects compared to Pearl’s, using very selective data in the process.

This was even a case Auburn was making before Phillips chose the Vols. They already had their excuse ready to go if they lost out on the five-star wing. Here’s a tweet showing that based on extremely misleading stats.

While there is a conversation to be had about Barnes putting young players in the league, it’s hilarious to use his track record compared to Pearl’s. After all, we’re talking about the guy who coached Kevin Durant.

Just looking at Barnes’ time with Tennessee basketball is hilarious. The program was in shambles when he took over, hampering his ability to recruit, so he couldn’t even get blue-chip guys until 2019. Up until then, he had one four-star commit in four years, Yves Pons.

Notice they didn’t compare Barnes’ track record with the Vols to Pearl’s with the Vols, as Pearl only produced one draft pick his whole tenure on Rocky Top. That would actually wreck their talking point, so facts don’t matter.

Instead, they chose to use the smallest sample size possible to slightly favor Pearl and Auburn and then attack Phillips for allegedly following more NIL money, which is completely legal and can’t even be proven. Their anger at Tennessee basketball is hilarious and hypocritical.