Stan Heath competes for 'Gaffe Of The Year'

The "Coaching News Conference Gaffe Of The Year" award has had one leader in clubhouse for weeks now, and his name is Bruce Pearl. It will take a lot to unseat to Pearl from the top of the leaderboard; topping Pearl's classic "we've got weapons," which came just a few days after four Vols were arrested on gun charges, will not be an easy feat.

That doesn't mean South Florida coach Stan Heath isn't going to try, though. To wit (emphasis ours):

"Sometimes I've got to slap myself a little bit too and say right now, I'm only playing really with two guys with Big East experience," Heath said. "It's just two guys, Chris and 'Nique. The rest of the guys, they have no inkling of what it's like to be out there in Big East play. We're growing, we're maturing. We're figuring things out. I called 100 time outs to get them to do the right things the other day. Just like my kids, just sometimes you need to get hit upside the head and grow from the experience. We learned a big lesson."

Under normal circumstances, there would be absolutely nothing wrong with this quote. In a vacuum, it's fine. Except that Stan Heath does not, unfortunately, live in a vacuum. He lives in the same world in which, no more than a week ago, South Florida football coach Jim Leavitt was fired for allegedly grabbing a player by the throat, slapping him, and then lying about it.

USF Sports Bulletin, who originally reported the quote, seems pretty confident that Heath meant nothing by it, and that it was just another coaching metaphor used at an unfortunately inappropriate time. Which sounds about right, and which earns it an entry into the Gaffe Of The Year contest. What say you, readers? Enough to unseat Pearl? Or are we still looking for contenders?