Jeremy Pruitt Claims He Broke NCAA Rules Because He Felt Bad About George Floyd And Racial Inequality

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Former Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt blamed the death of George Floyd for making illegal payments and breaking NCAA rules.

Pruitt was fired and exited Knoxville as a disgraced coach after multiple NCAA violations, which included handing out cash in bags.

Ultimately, the NCAA handed down its punishment last week. Tennessee was fined $8 million, Pruitt was hit with a six-year show-cause penalty, wins were vacated and 28 scholarships will be cut over five years in response to more than 200 infractions.

Why did Jeremy Pruitt break the rules in such brazen fashion? He felt bad about George Floyd dying.

Jeremy Pruitt cited George Floyd dying as an excuse for breaking NCAA rules. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Jeremy Pruitt cites George Floyd for breaking NCAA rules.

In documents obtained by Knox News, Pruitt claims he broke NCAA rules because of George Floyd’s death, COVID and mental health. Specifically, Pruitt claims racial inequity following Floyd’s death is what drove him to give a player’s mom $300 in a Chick-fil-A bag because she was struggling financially.

“Then you throw in George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, okay, so you sit there as a white man and you see all of this going on and you can see these kids suffering … (It’s) pitiful when you sit in a room and you hear grown men, and I’m talking about our coaches too, when they talk about growing up and the circumstances that they’ve been under, because it’s hard for a white man to understand, right,” Pruitt explained when explaining why he broke NCAA rules without a care in the world, according to the documents obtained by Knox News.

George Floyd’s death sparked riots and protests across America. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

Floyd’s death at the hands of police officer Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in May 2020 sparked massive protests and riots across America.

Ahmaud Arbery was murdered by three men in February 2020 in Georgia and Breonna Taylor was shot and killed during a police raid in Louisville March 2020. Taylor’s boyfriend was accused of firing on police. Taylor was killed in the exchange.

Pruitt seems to be making a huge reach with this excuse.

Jeremy Pruitt citing the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor as for why he broke NCAA rules is simply surreal.

If you want to break the rules, you’re going to do it. You don’t need to cite multiple killings, one of which served as a catalyst for social unrest, for handing out cash.

It’s honestly a little pathetic and sad to stand on the graves of people killed to defend breaking NCAA rules. However, people will say and do crazy things when they feel backed into a corner.

Instead of just accepting responsibility, Jeremy Pruitt – a man who is simply a football coach – cited racial unrest for why he had to break the rules. See, he didn’t have a choice. Pruitt had to break the rules in order to right the wrongs of history and the current moment.

Do you believe that? Yeah, neither did the investigators because he had the hammer dropped on him.

Jeremy Pruitt hit with multi-year show-cause penalty after NCAA violations. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Just a Michael Scott-level excuse from Jeremy Pruitt. Next time, accept responsibility, own up to breaking the rules and move on.

Written by David Hookstead

David Hookstead is a reporter for OutKick covering a variety of topics with a focus on football and culture.

He also hosts of the podcast American Joyride that is accessible on Outkick where he interviews American heroes and outlines their unique stories. Before joining OutKick, Hookstead worked for the Daily Caller for seven years covering similar topics.

Hookstead is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.


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