Tennessee Football Pauses Extensions and New Hires During Investigation

There's more tough news for Tennessee football coach Jeremy Pruitt. On Wednesday, ESPN's Chris Low said it would be "difficult" for Pruitt to keep his job. Today, ESPN's Mark Schlabach reports that new coaching staff hirings have been paused and current assistants haven't gotten extensions amidst a probe about possible recruiting violations. From the story:

"Last month, ESPN reported that compliance department officials had interviewed current players, recruits, assistant coaches, student volunteers and other athletics department officials involved in football recruiting. The sources said the interviews started in November. The sources told ESPN that Tennessee's recruitment of Amarius Mims, the No. 3 offensive tackle and No. 19 player overall in the 2021 ESPN 300, is part of the compliance department's inquiry. Mims signed with Georgia. Sophomore tailback Eric Gray, the team's leading rusher with 772 yards and four touchdowns, was also held out of the regular-season finale against Texas A&M for undisclosed reasons. Sources told ESPN that Gray's absence was related to the compliance inquiry."

The story notes that running backs coach Tee Martin and ILB coach Brian Niedermeyer have expiring contracts that haven't been renewed, and there are two additional vacancies on the staff after DL coach Jimm Brunaugh was fired during the season and offensive line coach Will Friend joined Shane Beamer's staff at South Carolina. Those vacancies have not been fulfilled.

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Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.