AUBURN — Pearlville? No, says Bruce Pearl.
How 'bout "Jungle City" instead?
After students camped outside Auburn Arena overnight to watch the Tigers beat No. 12 Kentucky 80-71 on Saturday, the basketball coach lobbied to transform the space into a more official sanctuary for Auburn fans.
I've got some ideas for that, now: I think we ought to sort of rebuild that plaza out there," Pearl said. "It needs to be named — it’s not going to be Pearlville — it’s going to be Jungle City. And Jungle City is going to live right outside Auburn Arena. And we’ve got to do some things out there to make that kind of a camping ground a little bit. You know, Auburn’s an outdoorsy place. We’ve got great weather. I just think we should create Jungle City, and I bet you I can get a few donors to help me with that project."
Students occupied the sections on three sides of the lower bowl and filled standing-room space up above as Auburn (18-1, 7-0 SEC) topped Kentucky (15-4, 5-2). Pearl and a few players brought pizzas to the students Friday night.
"It’s fun. Jabari even said to me, ‘Coach, this is going to get you to smile, right?’ But my job is to train this team and to keep some things in perspective," Pearl said. "I am grateful to our students: If we’d of lost the game, I would have felt bad for them because they froze their (butts) off last night. Now, we did everything we could to feed them and hydrate them. We couldn’t keep them warm."
This article originally appeared on Montgomery Advertiser: Auburn basketball coach Bruce Pearl lobbies for 'Jungle City' outside arena