The new men's basketball head coach participated in Pi Kappa Phi's charity dunk tank in the concourse on Wednesday afternoon.
Pi Kappa Phi was raising money for Push America, the fraternity's non-profit organization aimed at serving people with disabilities.
“The water wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be, so that was a really positive thing," Pearl said. "I think it was my first day on campus, a couple of students came up to me and asked if I was going to be in town [today]. Push America helps people with disabilities, so coming out today was really a no-brainer.”
Students paid $2 each to throw balls at a target to dunk Pearl, but the new head coach came up with an additional offer to raise more money for the cause—$10 to run up and directly push the button for an automatic dunk.
Pearl joked his new offer was for those who did not want to throw a first pitch as bad as he did at Auburn's recent baseball game against Missouri.
In the end, though, Pearl said it was all about raising more money for the charity.
"We’re going to ask students to come out and support us, maybe even travel to our games," Pearl said. "I can’t ask them to engage in our program if I’m not willing to engage in their programs."
The new head coach said it was not his first dunk tank experience, but he is getting more cautious about participating in them as he gets older.
"I know tonight back in Knoxville, somehow my wife is going to see this on YouTube or on television and go, ‘What in the world were you thinking?’" Pearl said.
Pearl said he enjoyed his time at the dunk tank and hopes it will get more people interested in Push America and on-campus events at Auburn.
“It’s 75 degrees and sunny in Auburn, Ala., and I know it’s a lot colder in a lot of place across the country," Pearl said. "I just need to get some prospects down here and check out this campus and enjoy it as well.”