I just returned from the club and discovered that the other main tire had been replaced as well. Turns out the bearing issues had nothing to do with the tire. Instead, a renter (PPL, not a student) flat-spotted both tires very badly. The first blew on the runway because he burned entirely through the tire and punctured the tube underneath. The other tire was flat-spotted into the cord.
I don’t know the specifics of what happened, but it was probably landing fast and long and trying to stop in time before the end of the runway. I’m thankful that the aircraft did, in fact, remain on the runway. The take-away lesson, though, is that if you’re not on a stabilized approach, go around! Saves us all some grief.
The owner of the club is negotiating with the renter right now, but he will owe a pro-rated share of the tires and the tube. I don’t know exactly what the amounts will be, but I expect that about $250 will be the charge to the renter. For me, the total cost was about $700, so it takes a little of the sting out, but it’s still pretty painful. (I’m not counting the cost of the bad bearing, which doesn’t really factor into this. It just happened to be found at the same time.)